Two convicted of killing law student over a jacket
Two teenagers have been convicted of killing a law student after arranging to meet him to buy a jacket in east London.
Eighteen-year-old Hussain Chaudhry was fatally stabbed in the neck with a kitchen knife after he tried to stop two men from robbing him. He died in the street outside his family home in Walthamstow while in his mother’s arms on 17 March this year.
Marvin Ward, 18, and Alexis Morris, 18, were both convicted of manslaughter, robbery and two counts of wounding following a trial at Wood Green Crown Court, which concluded today (Friday, 17 December 2021). Morris was also convicted of having an offensive weapon.
Co-defendant Anthony Nguyen, 18, was convicted of assisting an offender in the same trial. This related to helping Morris evade capture from police officers looking for him after the killing.
The court heard that Mr Chaudhry, a first-year School of Oriental and African Studies University student, had a part-time business selling trendy jackets and coats which he advertised online on social media. Ward and Morris had contacted him and arranged to meet up in order to buy a jacket.
Mr Chaudhry and his two friends met with Ward and Morris close to his home. As Mr Chaudhry had only brought along one Moose Knuckles style jacket to sell, Ward tried it on and Morris asked if he could try on a different size. In order to accommodate the request and make the sale, Mr Chaudhry and the group made the short walk to his home where he kept the jackets.
Once inside the house Ward and Morris dropped their pretence and took out their weapons, including a machete which they threatened Mr Chaudhry and his friends with as they began looking for coats to steal.
The commotion inside the house meant that Mr Chaudhry’s older brothers who were home were alerted. They managed to overpower Morris upstairs in one of the bedrooms. Meanwhile Ward ran out of the house with a black Tommy Hilfiger jacket and got into the back of an Uber the pair had ordered.
The Uber driver refused to drive off. Mr Chaudhry and one of his brother’s followed him and managed to smash the window of the car in order to unlock it to recover the jacket. Their mother also came out of the house.
Ward got out of the car swinging a knife and slashed Mr Chaudhry’s mother’s hand, cutting the tendons in her fingers. His brother also received a cut to his hand when he tried to grab a hold of the blade. Ward then plunged the knife into Mr Chaudhry’s neck and ran off – stopping to pick up the jacket he had stolen.
Morris managed to escape out of a window in the house.
Police and paramedics rushed to the scene at around 5.20pm and an emergency operation was carried out in the street. Mr Chaudhry had received a single stab wound to the left side of his neck that had entered 11cm deep and into his chest cavity causing his lung to collapse. Sadly he died at the scene.
Sarah Dale, from the CPS, said: “This was an utterly shocking, and tragic loss of life. Hussain Chaudhry was a much-loved son and brother. He was killed in the street in front of his mother and died on the pavement outside his family home.
“Never before had he encountered Marvin Ward or Alexis Morris who were determined to steal these jackets at whatever cost.
“What was meant to be a casual business meeting ended with a promising young student being stabbed to death.”
The police investigation quickly identified the defendants.
The fatal attack was captured on the camera of a bus which had pulled up on the opposite side of the road and on the dashcam of a stationary car that was stuck in traffic at that time.
Inside Mr Chaudhry’s home police officers also found the fake money that had been brought along for the transaction, the sheath of the machete and Morris’ mobile phone which he had dropped at the scene.
Ward was tracked down and arrested two days later on 19 March. Morris had sought help from co-defendant Nguyen to hide and was arrested with him in Luton on 21 March.
CPS Prosecutor Sarah Dale added: “The prosecution case included footage of the fatal attack, DNA evidence and strong witness testimony including from members of the public who happened to be passing by the busy road and witnessed the chaotic robbery and killing.
“Morris also dropped his phone inside the house which police found contained a number of incriminating videos of himself and others ‘playing’ with the machete he had brought along.
“Knife crime has a devastating impact on families and communities. The CPS is committed to bringing perpetrators to justice for their violent crimes. I hope these convictions provide Hussain’s family and friends with some sense of justice for their tragic loss. Our thoughts remain with them at this time.”
Notes to editors
- Marvin Ward (DOB: 21/12/2002) is from Ilford in the London borough of Redbridge.
- Alexis Morris (DOB: 22/02/2003) is from is from Ilford in the London borough of Redbridge.
- Anthony Nguyen (DOB: 16/03/2003) is from Belvedere in the London Borough of Bexley.
- Sarah Dale is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in the Homicide unit in CPS London North.