"His star quality was his heart" - tributes paid to Ajmol Alom

By Rob Virtue on May 7, 2014 1:20 PM |

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At 16, Ajmol Alom had just finished his GCSEs and had dreams of becoming a doctor.

His headteacher at Langdon Park School in Poplar described him as "one of our brightest prospects".

But that was all cruelly taken away from the teenager, who died in an unprovoked attack after being stabbed in the leg while out with friends on August 12 last year.

Speaking at the sentencing of his killers on Wednesday, His Honour Judge Martyn Zeidman QC said: "I know Ajmol was an exceptional person. Some have emphasised his intellectual qualities. He did brilliantly in his GCSEs and there was talk of him becoming a doctor.

"Those are useful gifts but his star quality was not his brain but his heart. He was an extraordinarily kind person - gentle and sensitive."

Ajmol received eight As and three Bs in his GCSEs and headteacher Chris Dunne said he was likely to achieve A-level results that would have secured him a place at "any of the best universities".

The judge added: "I know that some of his friends are here today and it is no exaggeration to say that he was loved by very many people.

"His mother describes him as a wonderful child - every parent would want a child like him. He was caring and happy.

"Of course words can never make it alright and no sentence can reflect the sadness of the bereaved but, on behalf of the court, I do offer Ajmlo's parents, siblings, family and friends my sincere condolences and pray that a time will come when the grief seems less hard to bear."

Ajmol's family released a statement through the Met Police following the sentencing.

In it they called for an end to knife crime madness, echoing comments also made by the judge who said 400 people in the year ending March 2013 lost their lives in knife attacks or those involving sharp instruments - 39% of all murders.

The family said: "We would like to thank the police investigation team, the Crown Prosecution Service and prosecuting counsel for all of their hard work in bringing this matter to trial and a successful prosecution.

"It has also meant a lot to us to hear evidence from members of the local community who came forward to help our son.

"Ajmol was a part of us and had his whole life ahead of him. We can only hope that other young people turn away from violence and knife crime when they reflect on today's verdict."

The killers were sentenced to life with a minimum of 23 years after being found guilty of Ajmol's murder and greivous bodily harm against his friend in the same incident.

Detective Inspector Julie Willats said: "Ajmol was an innocent teenager enjoying a summer evening with his friends when they were targeted in an unprovoked attack by a group of young men with knives. This incident highlights the misery that knife crime causes.

"I hope the sentence acts as a deterrent to those who carry or use knives or associate with others who do so. "