AZEEM Akhtar has been sentenced to life imprisonment to serve a minimum of 16 years and three months after he admitted the murder of sixteen year old Azim Azam.
Azim was en -route to his first full day at Bournville College on September 16 last year when he bumped into then 17-year-old Azeem Akhtar on the No 2 bus in Moseley.
It’s understood the pair had fallen out months earlier with Akhtar telling friends he lunged at Azim with the kitchen knife in revenge for being “snaked” − a slang term for insulted.
The 16-year-old, from Yardley, died from a single stab wound to the chest and at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday (March 17)Akhtar, now 18, was sentenced to life behind bars – to serve a minimum of 16 years and three months.
Azim boarded the No 2 bus in Yardley Wood Road, near Swanhurst Lane, at around 8.25am and within moments Akhtar − who was sat at the rear − began hurling abuse and, ominously, was spotted on CCTV discretely pulling on a pair of black gloves.
Fellow passengers told how Akhtar − a frequent bus passenger − shouted “what you doing on my bus…I’m going to deal with you” and “let’s go to town” which is understood to mean let’s have a fight.
Azim shrugged off the taunts and minutes later got off at his usual stop at the junction with Wake Green Road.
Witnesses describe how Akhtar, from Glen Rise in Kings Heath, shoved his way past people standing in the aisle to reach Azim and, as he stepped off, stabbed the 16-year-old in the chest.
Azim initially ran off but after a few steps slumped to the ground.
A doctor tried reviving him but he later died in hospital.
Akhtar − known amongst associates as ‘Ace’ − phoned a friend on the bus saying “I think I got him but there’s no blood on my weapon” before attending a youth course later that morning and meeting a ‘mentor’ at 2pm in Birmingham city centre.
Both the course lead and young persons’ mentor described Akhtar as acting normally and not appearing nervous or anxious.
Police made numerous arrest attempts at addresses known to Akhtar and, as the net closed, he handed himself in to Birmingham Central Police station the following morning.
A joint statement issued by West Midlands Police on behalf of Azim’s family told how he left for college “smiling and full of hope” − but was never to return home.
It reads: “We still feel lost and heartbroken over the loss of Azim…a mother should never have to bury her son.
“Nothing will ever bring our boy back but some peace may be found knowing the person who killed him isn’t free to walk the streets carrying a knife, putting further lives at risk. To us this behaviour is so unacceptable.
“An innocent boy’s life was lost whilst on his way to his first day at college.
“He left that morning smiling and full of hope for his future. We will never forget the way Azim lost his life…we will always miss him and love him.”
Stab victim Azim Azam died en-route to his first full day at college in September. His killer Azeem Ahktar has been jailed for life.