Judge highlights ‘shocking’ online weapon sales as teenager convicted of murder

A judge has urged jurors to write to their MPs about the “shocking” availability of dangerous weapons online after a young man was found guilty of killing another 18-year-old with a 22-inch long zombie knife.

Emadh Miah, 18, was accused of ambushing and fatally stabbing Ghulam Sadiq near his home in Leytonstone, east London.

On Tuesday, a jury at the Old Bailey found him unanimously guilty of Mr Sadiq’s murder.

Miah now faces life in prison for the killing and also has to be sentenced for an earlier hammer attack on a 16-year-old boy.

She told them: “I advise you to write to your MPs and ask why it is that weapons like the one you saw in this case can be bought from a website legitimately.

“These weapons are there for anybody to purchase and it is beyond me as to why that is.

“The weapon we are concerned with here has absolutely no place in this society.

“All I can do is encourage you to write to your MP and say why is it these can be so readily purchased.”

The trial had heard how Miah, from Solihull in the West Midlands, was staying with his grandmother in east London at the time of the attack on Mr Sadiq on August 6 last year.

Miah had travelled to Leytonstone on a hired bicycle with a zombie-style machete down his trousers and his face hidden beneath the hood of a padded jacket and a surgical mask.

He made his way to Cotton Close where the victim lived and lay in wait, the Old Bailey was told.

As Mr Sadiq came around the corner, he saw the defendant and tried to cycle away but Miah ran after him, prosecutor Deanna Heer KC had said.

When Miah caught up with Mr Sadiq, he stabbed him in the back before replacing the knife inside his trousers and cycling away.

Ghulam Sadiq
Ghulam Sadiq (Metropolitan Police/PA)

After the verdict, Judge Laing adjourned the case to a date to be fixed, saying she would also sentence Miah for the earlier hammer attack on a 16-year-old boy.

On March 15 2021, the defendant had approached the boy outside school, took out the hammer and hit him with it several times.

The victim, who suffered cuts and bruises on his head, reacted by kicking Miah, breaking his nose, jurors heard

The incident was caught on CCTV and Miah was convicted at Stratford Youth Court on June 28 2022 of wounding with intent and possession of an offensive weapon.

The court heard how Miah, who was only 17 at the time of the murder, had tried to use false identification to buy knives from websites.

On 23 July last year, Miah attempted to buy a 15-inch Rambo-style knife from a website using false details but was rejected.

The next day, he placed an order with another website for two knives advertised as a “Fantasy Spartan Sword blackout version serrated-blade two piece set”.

This time the order was accepted and the knives were shipped to the defendant’s address in Solihull. The knives could not be delivered and were left at the local post office.

There was no record to show that the knives were collected, but the knives that the defendant purchased were similar to the knife he used to stab Mr Sadiq.

Following the guilty verdict, Miah was remanded into custody.

Detective Chief Inspector Linda Bradley of Scotland Yard said: “This is one of those rare cases where we have never been able to conclusively establish a motive for the crime.

“Miah tried to claim diminished responsibility, but the careful planning that went into buying weapons and his actions throughout the day of the fatal attack meant the jury were able to see through his deceit.

“Ghulam’s family have now seen the man responsible for his death brought to justice, but I know that their anguish and loss will be with them forever and our thoughts remain with them.

“The team worked quickly to identify and arrest Miah and to uncover the attempts he had made to purchase the weapons he used in the attack. I cannot help but reflect that large knives and machetes being sold online is open to abuse and lamentably continues to be a risk to the public.”

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