Ahmed Hassan's killer had been freed only three days earlier
Jun 24 2008 by David Himelfield, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
HE was an A-star pupil who dreamed of becoming a lawyer.
But 17-year-old Ahmed Hassan’s promising life was mindlessly ended by a drunken yob who had been released from jail just three days earlier.
Now Michael Brook, 18, who has over 40 court appearances and a string of convictions including possessing a knife, must serve at least 14 years in jail after admitting murdering Ahmed last December 15.
Co-defendant Anthony Sorren, 17, was sentenced to four months in a young offenders’ institute after admitting affray. He had been released from custody three months before.
Ahmed, an A-level student at Heckmondwike Grammar School, and three friends had been waiting at Dewsbury railway station.
They were planning a trip to Manchester’s Trafford Centre to buy presents for the Muslim festival of Eid.
But a gang including alcohol-dependant Brook and Sorren, both of Dewsbury, had been drinking all morning and had been hanging around the station looking for trouble.
Sorren, who also has a string of convictions, including battery, was heavily intoxicated and had been acting aggressively and then overly-friendly towards passengers.
He had squared up to a friend of Ahmed’s and asked: “What are you looking at? You got beef?”
After a ‘reconciliation’ Sorren hugged one of Ahmed’s friends.
But Sorren’s mood changed rapidly, saying: “I know every gang in Huddersfield and I will get you shot.”
Following a scuffle as the two groups tried to get on a train Sorren threw a punch.
Brook – whose criminal career began when he was 12 and included 44 court appearances – then stabbed Ahmed once in his side with a kitchen knife.
Ahmed, from Batley, staggered off, collapsing several times before finally falling at the station doors. He later died in Dewsbury District Hospital.
When interviewed by police Brook – who first spent time behind bars aged 13 – at first denied possessing a knife and said Sorren had stabbed Ahmed.
He then said one of Ahmed’s party had pulled a knife on Sorren and he had snatched the weapon before lashing out.
Sentencing the two yesterday the Recorder of Leeds, Peter Collier QC, said: “You, Brook, must have seen that punch thrown.
“That can be the only reason for you to draw the knife you were carrying. Within minutes of doing that you killed that young man with a single thrust of your knife.”
Prosecutor Alistair MacDonald QC said: “This was an unprovoked attack on an unarmed man who had offered no provocation.”
Judge Collier said Sorren had been making a nuisance of himself to other passengers with “unwanted and intrusive attention which alternated between being threatening and over-familiar and had the potential to turn nasty at any minute.”
Brook’s lawyer, Graham Hyland QC, said: “Mr Hassan and his friends, minding their own business, were entirely innocent, which makes this case all the more tragic.’’
But he added that Brook had shown remorse and felt no sentence was enough for what he had done.
Sentencing the pair Judge Collier said: “There has been a significant increase in the carrying and use of knives by young people.
“In light of the public concern about knives I must regard that as an aggravating feature, which I do.”
Both defendants showed little emotion as they were taken down.