Posted on November 23, 2005

Gang Guilty of ‘White Man’ Murder

BBC News, Nov. 22

Asian gang members who boasted they had killed a white man have been found guilty of murder.

Christopher Yates, 30, was knocked to the ground and his head kicked like a football last November, the Old Bailey was told.

He was set upon by the group who had been drinking in the car park of the University of East London in Barking.

Sajid Zulfiqar, 25, Zahid Bashir, 23, and Imran Maqsood, 21, of Ilford, east London, will be sentenced on Thursday.

The court heard that after the attack Zulfiqar shouted, in Urdu: “We have killed the white man. That will teach an Englishman to interfere in Paki business.”

Unclear motive

Mr Yates’s head was stamped on and he died from multiple injuries to his face, said Anthony Leonard QC, prosecuting.

The victim, from Barking, described as a quiet, harmless man, wandered into the university where he had been a student, after hearing music.

Mr Leonard said a teenage girl standing nearby heard the remarks in Urdu made by Zulfiqar.

Mr Leonard said the reason for the attack was unclear, but the defendants had all been drinking all day.

“It was a ferocious attack,” he said.

After attacking Mr Yates, the group, all unemployed, moved on to Ilford where they shouted racial abuse at a black resident who remonstrated after they damaged vehicles and set off car alarms.

An Asian member of staff was assaulted at a local curry house before Zulfiqar attacked another black man in a nearby street.

They were arrested after hiding in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, a week later, as they made plans to flee the country.

After the verdicts, Mr Yates’ family released a statement which said: “Our much-loved son, Christopher, was brutally and viciously killed with merciless ferocity.

“These men have robbed us of a precious son, whose whole life lay ahead of him.

“Although the verdict has brought some comfort to us, it can never replace the loss of our beloved son, Christopher.

“These are evil men and people like this should not be free to roam about our streets hurting innocent people.”