Regina v Mohammed Idrees Farouk and Ridhwaan Farouk

Sentencing Remarks

His Honour Judge Melbourne Inman QC

Recorder of Birmingham

  1. Mohammed Idrees Farouk and Ridhwaan Farouk, you have each been convicted by the jury of the murder of Amin Talea. You are brothers.
  2. Amin was only 20 years of age when you murdered him. He had his life before him. He was well liked and well thought of by those who knew him. No one could fail to be moved by the statement of Amin’s mother nor doubt the depth of her grief and the devastating effect of the loss of her son.
  3. This was a planned and premeditated attack. At about 9.00pm on the 1st October 2021 you took a taxi to the area in which Amin lived. You were armed with at least one knife. You were careful to ensure you gave no details of exactly where you were going and left the taxi a short distance away from Amin’s address. Much of what then happened was caught on CCTV. You arrived at the block of flats where Amin lived at 9.10pm. You then lay in wait for him. You clearly knew or expected him to leave at about that time. At 9.20pm Amin came out of the flats and walked towards the road. The two of you immediately ran from around some trees and attacked him.
  4. Amin managed to run away up the road but you pursued him. He managed to run into Middleton Hall Road where he sought help from a member of the public. He collapsed at that point.
  5. During the attack Amin was stabbed twice. One blow penetrated his abdomen and cut a main vein taking blood to his heart. Despite the best efforts of the emergency services and emergency operative treatment at hospital, it was not possible to save Amin’s life.
  6. It is not possible to see on the CCTV recording when Amin was actually stabbed or who stabbed him. Only you know which of you inflicted the fatal stab wound. Both of you are however equally culpable. It is clear from the evidence that the attack lasted only seconds and Amin was stabbed immediately he was caught. It is also clear that, having stabbed him twice, you both gave chase in order to inflict yet further injury if you caught him.
  7. Having attacked Amin you, Ridhwaan Farouk, telephoned someone you knew at 9.25pm and asked if she would bring a bag down to you where you waiting by nearby garages. She refused. The bag was clearly being sought to enable you to dispose of incriminating evidence. No knife has ever been recovered. You, Mohammed Idrees Farouk disposed of the coat you were wearing during the attack and sold your phones the next day.
  8. Only you know why you attacked Amin Talea. On the preceeding Sunday you, Ridhwaan Farouk, had asked someone you knew whether she would be willing to pick up a gun for you from Liverpool. She refused. After you attacked Amin you told her that request had something to do with the attack. It is clear that you were preparing for this attack days before it occurred.
  9. Mohammed Idrees Farouk you are now 21 years of age and were 20 at the date of the offence. Ridhwaan Farouk you are 19 years of age and were 19 when you committed the offence.
  10. The sentence for the murder of Amin Talea is fixed by law. In your case Mohammed Idrees Farouk the sentence is one of life imprisonment and, in you case Ridhwaan Farouk, custody for life.
  11. I now have to determine the minimum term you must serve before you can be considered for release. It is not the time you will serve. You will not be released at all unless and until the Parole Board are satisfied that you no longer represent a danger to the public.
  12. The two of you took at least one knife to the scene of the attack with the intention of using it. The law therefore provides that the starting point for consideration of the length of the minimum term in each of your cases is 25 years.
  13. In each of your cases there are significant aggravating factors.
  14. First this was a premeditated and planned attack.
  15. Secondly there were two of you acting together in that attack.
  16. Third you both sought to hide your identities by wearing hoods and one of you was wearing a balaclava.
  17. Fourth this was an attack in the early evening in a residential area of the city. Two members of the public were confronted by the sight of Amin with his intestines protruding from his stomach and collapsing on the pavement.
  18. Fifthly you have disposed of evidence. The knife or knives have never been recovered nor has the jacket you were wearing Mohammed Idrees Farouk and you also disposed of your phones immediately when you heard your brother had been arrested.
  19. There is little mitigation. You are not to be punished for having a trial. The trial however made it very clear that you had together tried to concoct a detailed account to try and explain away the evidence and neither of you have shown any remorse for what you did.
  20. Neither of you have any previous convictions. I take that into account. It can however only have limited weight in this case. This is not a case, for example, of a sudden loss of temper arising from circumstances that arose. Your previous good character has to viewed in the context that this was planned serious violence.
  21. Secondly, I cannot be sure that you intended to kill Amin and sentence you, therefore, on the basis that you both intended to cause him really serious injury. In the circumstances of this case that has limited effect as a mitigating factor. You had stabbed him twice – including to the abdomen – and were only prevented from inflicting further very serious injury because Amin was able to run a short distance to where there were other people.
  22. Third, I take into account your age. You Mohammed Idrees Farouk are now 21 and 20 at the date of the offence. You Ridhwaan Farouk are 19 as you were at the date of the offence. You were, respectively, working and in college. Having seen you both give evidence it is clear you are both intelligent and proportionately mature for your age but your age is such that you may not have reached full maturity. There is no significant difference in your ages when you committed this offence and nothing I have seen which indicates any significant difference in your respective maturity. In your case Ridhwaan Farouk you also were the one who was seeking delivery of a gun. There are no grounds for distinguishing between you in terms of culpability.
  23. I have balanced all of those factors.
  24. Could you stand please.
  25. For the murder of Amin Talea the sentence upon you Mohammed Idrees Farouk is life imprisonment with a minimum term of 24 years less 202 days you have spent on remand. In your case Ridhwaan Farouk the sentence is custody for life and you will serve a minimum term of 24 years less 207 days you have spent on remand.
  26. The relevant victim impact surcharges will apply.

Mark Heywood QC prosecuted and Michael Duck QC defended Ridhwaan Farouk

Read the full article from the BBC.