IslingtonTribune

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Prison shock for knife victim’s family as killer goes missing

Sister of student who was attacked at Upper Street bus stop says they only learned Ahmet Gomulu was in an open jail after he absconded

30 November, 2018 — By Samantha Booth

Student Nassirudeen Osawe was stabbed at a bus stop in Upper Street in 2008

THE sister of a 16-year-old murder victim said her family only learned his killer had been moved to an open prison when police said he had ab­sconded this week.

Police have issued an urgent appeal after Ahmet Gomulu, now aged 30, went missing on Sunday. He is serving a life sentence – with a minimum tariff of 12 years – after stabbing student Nassirudeen Osawe in the heart at a bus stop in Upper Street back in 2008.

Nassirudeen’s sister Ayesha Osawe said: “We feel like the justice system has failed us. We had no contact about the open prison. That’s why it’s so shocking. I don’t understand. It’s absolutely shock­ing.

“I cried all day yesterday. It broke my heart that someone who had done something so horrible is able to just be around.”

Gomulu absconded from HMP Spring Hill, in Buck­inghamshire. The prison prepares inmates for release, with many allowed out on temporary licence. An inspection last year found the number of inmates going missing had increased.

Ms Osawe said police had visited her house on Tuesday to tell her mother, Fulera Idriss, that her son’s killer had not been traced.

“At least by being told [that he was in an open prison] we could have prepared ourselves for something like this to happen,” said Ms Osawe, who was first on the scene after her brother was stabbed.

“But this blow had a similar impact to when my brother was murdered. When you know someone’s about to die, you prepare yourself. When it just hits you like a bullet it’s completely different and that’s the same as this. We didn’t have any warning.”

Ahmet Gomulu, who is serving a life sentence

The Old Bailey was told during the trial how on December 27, 2007, Gomulu stabbed one of Nassirudeen’s friends in the stomach – the wound was not life-threatening – and then plunged the blade twice into Nassirudeen, who later died, five days before his 17th birthday.

The Recorder of London Judge Peter Beaumont told Gomulu at sentencing that he had reacted to a “wholly imagined slight”. He had said that Mr Osawe had been staring at him.

The Parole Board said it made a recommendation to the Secretary of State that Gomulu was suitable to be moved to open prison conditions following an oral hearing in December 2017.

However, because the case was heard before changes were made to the system following the John Worboys cab rapist case, the board’s spokesman could not provide specifics of Gomulu’s review.

It is understood he did not show for roll call at the prison on Sunday morning.

A police spokesman said about him absconding: “There was no perceived threat to the family of the victims following an assessment of the circumstances surrounding his disappearance.”

Ms Osawe, a duty hotel manager, said she thinks about her brother every day. “It has been a while since it happened but it doesn’t take away the pain,” she added. “I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. Every time I get paid I look at my taxes and think my taxes are keeping the guy who killed my brother warm, fed and clothed.

“It’s distressing. I under­stand it’s the system and how it goes and stuff, but… it’s not nice.”

Thames Valley Police said Gomulu is known to frequent the Stoke Newington area, where he lived, and Southend, in Essex.

Investigating officer PC Arron Wroe, of the Investigation Hub based at Aylesbury police station, said: “I am appealing to anybody who knows of Gomulu’s whereabouts, or who believes they have seen him to call 101, quoting reference number 43180360525.

“If you see Gomulu, do not approach him, but call 999 immediately.”

A Probation Service spokesperson said: “We apologise that Mr Osawe’s family were not made aware of the Parole Board’s decision and will attempt to re-establish contact with them. We are working with the police to recapture Ahmet Gomulu, who now faces a return to a closed prison and longer behind bars.”

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