Teenage Snapchat killer walks free from court after manslaughter of Bolton man Ghulam Raja, 63

Ghulam Raja, from Bolton, was stabbed four times following a dispute in Luton. His killer has been found guilty of manslaughter. Credit: Facebook
Ghulam Raja, from Bolton, was stabbed four times following a dispute in Luton. His killer has been found guilty of manslaughter. Credit: Facebook

A teenager who posted a video of his victim on Snapchat as the 63-year-old man lay bleeding to death has walked free from court.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will be put under intensive supervision, having already served the equivalent of a two-year sentence in custody.

The youngster uploaded six or seven seconds of footage from his mobile phone showing fatally-wounded Bolton-businessman Ghulam Raja after the attack on 15 November 2021.

Prosecutor Sarah Morris told Luton Crown Court that Mr Raja was stabbed four times with a large kitchen knife, once to the front right thigh, once to the neck and twice to the head. One stab entered the brain and caused a catastrophic fatal injury, she said.

“This defendant did not call for an ambulance. He unlocked his mobile phone, went into the Snapchat app and recorded a seven or eight seconds video clip and uploaded it to Snapchat,” she said.

He recorded 63-year-old Mr Raja, who had travelled to Luton to visit his mother, bleeding heavily on a bed that had been set up in the living room.

After three minutes the boy dialled 999, saying: “There has been a murder.”

He said the victim had been stabbed and he was the offender. When asked by the operator what weapon had been used, he is said to have replied sarcastically: “A knife innit, what do you think? I done it. It was self-defence though.”

The youth was cleared of murdering Mr Raja, but was convicted by the jury on 21 November this year of manslaughter.

The prosecutor said Mr Raja’s only interest in coming to Luton was to visit his elderly mother whom he had not seen for many months. He had been in Pakistan and was delayed there by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Raja was taken by land ambulance to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital and was transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, where he died on 20 November last year.

The youth said he was lawfully defending himself and another person in the house.

He told the jury that Mr Raja had his arm around his neck and he was struggling to breathe.

Victim's organs saved lives of five people

In a victim impact statement Mr Raja’s widow mother-of-two Shehnaz Khan said her family’s happiness has been destroyed by his death.

“It is impossible to put over the pain and emotional distress into words,” she said, adding that he had donated his heart, lung, spleen liver and kidneys to save the lives of five people.

Mrs Khan described her husband as a great man who was a “pillar of the community.”

Mitigating, Mr Mian said the youth had already served the equivalent of a two-year sentence on remand. He said he was a young boy who had an exemplary character.

Judge Mr Justice Jeremy Johnson KC said he took into account the time the youth had spent in custody when he made a youth rehabilitation order with intensive supervision for 12 months.

He must attend 91 days specified activity, be supervised for 12 months and abide by a 12 hour curfew from 7pm for 21 months.

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