Afghan murderer, 21, who killed in UK after ‘schoolboy’ lie is jailed for life

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    An Afghani asylum seeker who murdered two people with an AK-47 before killing again in the UK while posing as a schoolboy, has been jailed for life – with a minimum of 29 years behind bars.

    Lawangeen Abdulrahimzai was found guilty of murdering aspiring Royal Marine Thomas Roberts, 21, outside a branch of Subway in Bournemouth on March 12, 2022.

    At the time of his arrest, the migrant told police he was aged 16 – but it was later determined during his trial at Salisbury Crown Court that he was in fact 21.

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    During the case that it emerged Abdulrahimzai had already been found guilty of shooting dead two fellow Afghans in Serbia.

    Despite being sentenced in his absence to 20 years in prison, he was able to deceive UK authorities and assume the life of a schoolboy, being placed with a British foster mother and even attending a school here.

    Arriving in December 2019, he told Border Force he had fled his home country of Afghanistan after his parents were killed by the Taliban and he was “tortured” by them.

    Despite his claims to be 14, the court ruled Abdulrahimzai was in fact 18 when he arrived in coastal town Poole, Dorset, from a French port, and was 20 when he killed Mr Roberts.

    Abdulrahimzai was convicted on Monday for the murder of Mr Roberts after the jury at Salisbury Crown Court took just 12 hours to find him guilty with a majority verdict.

    During the trial, Abdulrahimzai's representative told the court that the man was trying to be the “peacemaker” during the deadly confrontation outside Subway after his friend James Medway got into an argument with Abdulrahimzai.

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    Mr Medway wanted to take an e-scooter Abdulrahimzai had claimed for himself and left propped against the window of Subway in Old Christchurch Road.

    The confrontation, which lasted only 24 seconds, saw Mr Roberts slap Abdulrahimzai in the face.

    Abdulrahimzai then took out a knife hidden between two pairs of trousers he was wearing and stabbed Mr Roberts twice before running away into nearby woodland.

    He buried the knife in the woods before burning the trousers, jacket, and Afghan flag he was wearing as a scarf.

    However, he dropped his mobile phone which was used by police and traced to his home address.

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    He had been seen carrying a knife by his foster parent, who had warned him not to, and had also been warned by police and social workers about the dangers of carrying a knife.

    He told the court that he carried the weapon because he “feared” for his life due to death threats he had been on the end of from people in Bournemouth.

    In his defence, Abdulrahimzai said he had no intention to kill or cause really serious harm to Mr Roberts and “acted instinctively”.

    After the sentencing, Judge Dugdale said: "You spent 26 seconds of your life with him at the end of which you stabbed him fatally twice to the chest with a large knife which you routinely carried with you.

    "You started the conflict and throughout you were the threatening aggressor. In seconds you took the life of a thoroughly decent young man.

    "A man with a bright future who was loved greatly by so many people.

    "Your momentary act of extreme senseless violence has left a family with a tragic loss they will feel for the rest of their lives."

    He will now spend life behind bars.

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