Islamist convicted of homicide in England jailed for life

By Chris Eyte |
Ahmed Alid on evening he killed Terence Carney in image from CCTV footage.
Ahmed Alid on evening he killed Terence Carney in image from CCTV footage. | (Crown Prosecution Service)

An Islamic extremist sentenced to life in prison in England on Friday (May 17) for homicide and stabbing a Christian convert yawned as he heard the wounded convert’s statement read in court, records show.

Before delivering the life sentence with a minimum term of 45 years minus 213 days already spent on remand to Ahmed Alid, a Moroccan immigrant who was seeking asylum before the Oct. 15 attacks, Justice Cheema-Grubb told Teesside Crown Court that Alid had acted as a terrorist rather than an asylum seeker who should embrace U.K. values.

“These values include respect for the dignity of each person as an individual, with freedom to choose their political opinion without intimidation, and whether to observe a particular faith without fear or oppression,” Cheema-Grubb said. Court records show anger over the Israel-Hamas conflict and the Christian’s conversion from Islam motivated Alid’s attacks. 

“Given my findings of fact, the murder of Terence Carney and attempted murder of Javed Nouri were intended to subvert those values and to lead our government to pursue a particular course concerning the situation in Palestine, by force and fear rather than through democratic means,” Cheema-Grubb said. “This means those offenses were of extreme gravity even in the context of murder.” 

She said Alid showed no genuine remorse or pity for his victims. 

“When you attempted to kill Javed Nouri, it was also intended to punish him for converting to Christianity, because that is not permitted by your Muslim faith which brands him an apostate,” she said. 

Alid, 45, attacked Iranian housemate Nouri, 31, with two knives as he slept in their accommodation for asylum seekers in Wharton Terrace, Hartlepool, in the early hours of Oct. 15. He then fled outside and knifed Carney, 70, to death, as Christian Daily International previously reported

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in an online statement said Alid had “previously behaved threateningly towards the housemate [Nouri], having established that he had converted to Christianity.”

In a statement from Nouri read for him in court, the Christian convert said he would expect to be arrested and killed in his home country for converting to Christianity but did not expect to be attacked in his sleep in England.

“How is it possible for someone to destroy someone’s life because of his religion?” said Nouri, who has moved to another city and remains deeply troubled since the attack, saying he no longer trusted “anyone or anything” and “all thoughts and feelings I had of being in a safe country have gone.”

“I want to tell Ahmed: You are a weak person, because of your religion you attack someone in deep sleep and an old man who struggled to walk,” he stated.

Alid, flanked by three security guards, repeatedly yawned as he sat in the courtroom and heard the victim’s statement, according to the BBC. 

Prosecutors said he followed extremist Islam and informed police the attacks were protesting the Israel/Hamas conflict. Using an Arabic interpreter during the trial, Alid confessed to stabbing both men but denied intending to kill or cause very serious harm. 

The court heard that psychiatric reports showed that Alid suffered no serious mental illnesses of psychosis, but the judge revealed he had an “adjustment disorder.” This would affect his judgment, but with “very limited mitigation” because it did not coherently link to “such a serious level of violence,” she said. 

In the attack, Alid shouted “Allahu Akbar [God is greater]” when he attacked Nouri with knives. Cheema-Grubb said Nouri “woke up and fought him,” and described the events in her sentencing remarks.

“One of the knives was broken in the attack and fell to the floor,” she said. “When tested later, the blade bore DNA matching that of Mr. Nouri. It was dark, and he was terrified but knew he had to resist and overpower the defendant, who then tried to stab him in the neck, catching his mouth.”

In the struggle, she said, Alid wounded Nouri in the leg, causing him to collapse.

“The victim screamed to rouse the others in the house,” the judge said. “He got hold of the defendant in a headlock and disarmed him of the knife he still had. In response the defendant punched him in the head and tried to find the other knife, continually shouting out ‘Allahu Akbar.’ The struggle and the defendant’s words were caught on the 999 [emergency] call made from the house.”

Nouri managed to pass the knife to one of the other residents, who threw it into the hallway before running upstairs to hide from the defendant until police arrived, she said.

“Despite feeling faint from a significant loss of blood, Javed Nouri held onto the defendant until he was able to maneuver him out of his room,” Cheema-Grubb said. “Even then, Ahmed Alid picked up the knife that had been thrown away in the hall and tried to get back into Mr. Nouri’s room.”

Nouri prevented Alid from bursting in by putting his weight against the door from the inside.

“Javed Nouri sustained two wounds to his chest and wounds to his lip, thigh and calf, as well as cuts to his back and a finger, and bruising to his head. I am sure that the defendant waited to assault him until he was asleep and vulnerable,” she said. “Mercifully, the attempt to kill Javed Nouri was unsuccessful. When armed police eventually entered the house and found him, he had low blood pressure due to severe blood loss, and his condition was potentially life threatening, although the defendant had failed to strike any vital organs or cause internal bleeding.”

Alid picked up one of the knives and headed towards Hartlepool town center. CCTV footage released by the CPS showed him walking past Carney on one side of Raby Road before circling around to approach him from behind. 

Carney, who had been enjoying his early morning walk, turned around to face Alid. Doorbell camera footage reveals Carney shouting “No, no,” as Alid pushed him to the ground. Then Alid stabbed him six times in the chest, abdomen and back.

Police officers found the elderly man at 5:40 a.m. and tried to revive him, but he died at 6 a.m., according to the CPS. Alid was arrested shortly afterwards, still holding the bloodied knife and with Nouri’s blood on his clothes. 

The court heard that Alid ranted in an Arabic language speech while held at Middlesbrough Police Station after his arrest. He reportedly said, “Allah willing, Gaza would return to be an Arab country.” He also stated his violent frenzy would have continued were it not for injuries to his hands.

The CPS in a statement said he assaulted two female detectives interviewing him, causing injuries to the left shoulder and wrist of one of the officers.

The court heard that Alid opposed Nouri’s coming to faith in Christ, talking of God’s displeasure with those who go astray. He also told police the attack happened because “Israel had killed innocent children.”

Prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford KC underlined the reasons for the attempted murder of Nouri and murder of Carney as being “in revenge for what he believed to be the killing of children by Israel.”

Patricia Carney, the widow of Carney, said in a victim statement that she felt numb and had “lost everything.”

“I don’t feel I can be happy anymore, I feel I’m constantly putting on an act and a brave face for my family,” she said. “He used to love going for an early morning walk. He thought he was safe, but a chance encounter ended his life.”

The widow found it “too painful” to go into town and the place where Carney was killed. The couple lived separately but were “still very much together,” having met when they were young, she said.

Police Det. Ch. Supt. James Dunkerley from Terrorism Policing North East (TPNE) said Alid had been “hell-bent on violence that day.”

“He was telling everybody on arrest, and in custody, what his intentions were – that he wanted to go out and kill more people,” he said, adding it was a “violent rampage.”

Alid’s extremist views had so fueled him that he wanted to harm anybody he could in retribution for what he was seeing on his online media on events happening in the Gaza Strip, Dunkerley said.

After the court hearing, Nick Price, interim director of Legal Services, gave a CPS public statement about the sentencing. 

“Ahmed Alid’s shocking attack sent fear through the community in Hartlepool,” he said. “By his own admission, he would have killed more people on that day if he had been able to, and credit must go to the police officers who responded to the incident so bravely. The judge found that Ahmed Alid’s actions did have a terrorist connection, and I hope this sentence provides some comfort to the family of Terence Carney. Our thoughts remain with them.”