Two men jailed for knife attack inside Newham shop

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Two young men have been jailed for almost 40 years after they attempted to murder a rival in a frenzied knife attack inside a shop.

Awadh Saleh, 22 (28.03.99), of no fixed address, and Ramah Williams, 18 (10.09.03), of Newham, were sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday, 7 March after they were both unanimously found guilty of attempted murder at an earlier trial.

Saleh was sentenced to 21 years’ imprisonment, with 16 years to be served in prison and the remaining five years on extended licence. Williams was sentenced to 17 years’ imprisonment, with 12 years to be served in prison and the remaining five years on extended licence.

Detective Chief Inspector John Arnold, from the North East Area’s CID, said: “Saleh and Williams were intent on carrying out senseless violence that day when they ultimately attempted to assassinate a rival gang member.

“The victim is lucky to be alive and if he had not been able to escape and lock himself inside a toilet that might not have been the case, as Saleh and Williams were intent on causing him as much harm as possible.

“I am extremely proud of my team who worked tirelessly throughout the investigation and trial to ensure these dangerous men were put behind bars. My officers had an extra challenge to deal with because the victim did not support the prosecution, but that just spurred them on to gather as much evidence as possible to secure a conviction.

“I hope this shows Londoners that we are absolutely committed to tackling violence and sends a strong message to those intent on causing violence – your actions will not be tolerated and you will face the consequences of your actions in court, with or without victim support.”

The court heard that at about 15:30hrs on 27 February 2021, the victim entered a shop on Fife Road, E16. As he went into the shop, a Range Rover pulled up outside and Saleh and Williams entered the premises armed with knives.

The victim was at the back of the shop speaking to the owner when Saleh and Williams approached him. They pushed the shopkeeper out of the way and launched a frenzied knife attack on the victim. The victim eventually managed to escape and ran into the store room, locking himself in the toilet.

The suspects ran after him and Williams, who was 17 at the time, forced the door to the store room open. They then tried to break into the toilet, but when they realised they could not get in, they ran out of the shop and into the Range Rover that was still waiting outside.

Officers and the London Ambulance Service attended and found the victim suffering from four stab injuries.

Detectives from the North East Area’s CID immediately launched an investigation and identified the suspects after reviewing hours of CCTV footage and tracing their movements before and after the attack.

Williams was quickly identified and was arrested and charged on 1 March 2021. Saleh was arrested on 8 May 2021 and was charged the following day.

Both suspects denied their involvement in the attack, but they were both unanimously found guilty of all charges by a jury on 22 October 2021.

Saleh was found guilty of attempted murder, possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, possession of a knife blade/pointed article in a public place and possession of a Class B drug (cannabis).

Williams was found guilty of attempted murder, possession of an offensive weapon in a public place and possession of a Class B drug (cannabis).

DCI Arnold added: “This is another example of drug supply and violence on our streets being inextricably linked. Those involved cause misery to our communities, and we remain dedicated to bringing them before the courts as we have done with Saleh and Williams.

“Our relentless activity against organised criminal networks in Newham and Waltham Forest is having an impact. Violent crime is down with data showing reductions over the past two years across serious violent crime categories.

“However, despite these reductions, we know there is more to do. Our determination to tackle these crimes remains strong and we will continue to work with our partners, and use every power and tactic available, to serve and protect our communities.”

If you have any information about drug crime or violence, please contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They never ask your name and they cannot trace your call, your IP address or device you use.

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