Cardiff man jailed for life after killing 'kind-hearted' Asim Khan, 21, in spilled drink row

Asim Khan was killed after his brother accidentally kicked over a drink belonging to his murderer. Credit: South Wales Police/Family

A Cardiff man has been jailed for life after murdering a 21-year-old following an argument over a spilled drink.

28-year-old Momodoulamin Saine appeared at Newport Crown Court on Tuesday after being convicted of murder on Wednesday 8 July.

Saine, from Ely, stabbed Asim Khan, from Grangetown, twice, causing fatal injuries on 21 July last year.

He will serve a minimum of 24 years in prison.

Momodoulamin Saine was sentenced to life in prison and will serve a minimum of 24 years. Credit: South Wales Police

The men were at the Soda Bar on Mill Lane in Cardiff city centre when the victim's 24-year-old brother, Hamza Khan, accidentally kicked over a drink belonging to Saine.

When the men crossed paths again later in St Mary’s Street, Saine reacted by picking up a drink and throwing it at Hamza Khan, leading to a confrontation.

Saine left the area, only to return a short time later, where a fight broke out between the men.

CCTV footage that night shows the altercation starting in the street near McDonald’s on St Mary's Street, before moving towards the Oxfam store.

The court heard that Momodoulamin Saine and Asim Khan ended up on the ground, with Hamza Khan repeatedly kicking Saine in the head. 

It was during this that Saine took out a knife and stabbed Asim Khan twice, causing fatal injuries.

CCTV footage showed Momodoulamin Saine confronting the Khan brothers. Credit: South Wales Police

In a victim impact statement, Asim Khan's mother said the "dreadful act has destroyed a family."

She added: “We have been traumatised ever since. Every day, we are mourning the loss of Asim. You can never imagine a worse pain and heartache.

"My pain is unbearable and to see the same pain in my children and family is too hard to bear. The tremendous void will never be filled.”

"You took away a brother, son, cousin, grandson and best friend."

Hamza Khan, 25, said: "He died in my arms. The shock will last for the rest of my life."

Asim Khan was fatally stabbed on St Mary's Street in Cardiff city centre.

The judge told Saine: "Asim died in a fight you had picked and provoked, accompanied by racial abuse from you.

"You used racial abuse to provoke the fight. And you drew the knife because you were losing the fight, a fight you were determined to win."

Despite CCTV or witnesses not picking up racial abuse, the judge was "convinced by Hamza Khan's evidence" that there was.

Saine has a number of previous convictions for violence and racially aggravated violence. He found guilty of murder by a jury after around seven hours of deliberation.

The stabbing happened at around 4.50am on 21 July last year.

Thomas Edwards, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Momodoulamin Saine’s decision to go out with a knife that night resulted in tragic consequences that can never be reversed.

“Our thoughts remain with Asim’s family and friends over their loss.”

For his part in the fight, Hamza Khan was convicted of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.

He had pleaded not guilty, saying that he was trying to protect his brother. He will be sentenced at Newport Crown Court on 31 July.

Senior Investigating Officer at South Wales Police Detective Chief Inspector Mark O’Shea said: “Asim Khan was a young man with great potential who was much loved by his family.“What emerged throughout the investigation and trial was that Saine is a violent, dangerous individual who took a knife onto the streets of Cardiff.“And because of his own annoyance over something so trivial as a spilt drink, felt it necessary to engage in two violent encounters resulting in Asim’s murder.

“This case has led to the most tragic of consequences for the Khan family. Our thoughts are with Asim’s family at this time.“This tragic case yet again highlights the devastating and far-reaching consequences of knife crime, and I cannot stress enough the importance of loved ones reporting their concerns if they suspect someone they know is carrying a knife or involved in knife crime.“Speaking out could, quite simply, save a life."