Posted on November 2, 2022

Man Accused of Murder Was Not 16, Court Rules

BBC, October 25, 2022

A man who believed he was aged 16 when he was arrested on suspicion of murder was 20 at the time, a court has ruled.

Afghan asylum seeker Lawangeen Abdulrahimzai is charged with murdering Thomas Roberts in Bournemouth.

Mr Roberts died after being stabbed outside a branch of Subway in Old Christchurch Road, on 12 March.

At the time Mr Abdulrahimzai, who is due on trial, said he believed he was 16 but age assessors confirmed he was actually born in October 2001.

This means he was 20 at the time of his arrest and aged 18 when he entered the UK in December 2019, Winchester Crown Court heard.

Mr Abdulrahimzai was initially given the right to anonymity because of his age, but the ruling led reporting restrictions to be lifted by the judge Mrs Justice Cutts.

She also said Mr Abdulrahimzai would need to be moved from Feltham Young Offender Institution to an adult prison.

“The difference between the age he was given by his uncle and the age given by the age assessment has been somewhat substantial,” Mrs Justice Cutts said.

Jo Martin KC, defending, told the court Mr Abdulrahimzai does not know his true age.

“That remains the position, but he does acknowledge that he is an adult,” Mr Martin said.

Mr Abdulrahimzai is scheduled to go on trial on 11 January, 2023.