The murder case that ended in even more violence

Less than half an hour earlier, a jury had delivered its verdict. The process had been tense. It had taken its toll on the families in the courtroom.

In an outburst of emotion and bitterness, a mass brawl had broken out just yards from Manchester Crown Court. It was an ugly scene as the murder case against Badri Issa ended in anger.

Weeks later, when a killer learned his fate, the judge in the case had a simple message for those involved: “This cycle of violence must end.”

Here, court reporter Amy Walker looks back on a trial marked by hostility and the ‘peacemaker’ at its heart…

READ MORE: Murderer gets life in prison after stabbing peacemaker to death during fight

Eight people – including two youths – were arrested as police rushed to break up the fight in Crown Square. It was the culmination of a difficult few weeks in court.

The public gallery was filled day after day. One young man was dead and the futures of two others were at stake. As the jurors returned to court to deliver their verdicts, the families of the three men looked on.

Badri Issa -Credit:GMP

Badri Issa -Credit:GMP

Raami Mohamed – guilty of murder. Kevell Blake – not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter. As the courtroom emptied and people took to the streets, the matter boiled over.

Bottles were launched and punches were thrown. No charges have reportedly been filed against those involved yet.

It was the second controversy related to the trial. After the verdicts, police revealed that Rijaan Mohamed, Raami’s brother, was jailed after he was caught recording the trial from the gallery.

The 27-year-old from Fairy Lane dropped his phone from the balcony. It was analyzed as jurors were dispatched, before it was discovered he had been recording for more than 90 minutes. He was imprisoned for seven months after admitting contempt of court.


When the trial began in April, jurors were told there was a “background of hostility” between a friend of Badri – Omar Jeylaani – and murder accused Mohamed after a dispute over a Volkswagen Polo. An arrangement had been made for Mohamed to rent the car from a company said to have links with Mr Jeylaani.

But Mohamed did not pay the agreed amount and then said he was ‘going to keep the car’. On October 25 last year, Badri, who hoped to become a mechanical engineer, was at the gym with Mr Jeylaani when Mohamed gestured for them to stop on Moss Lane East in Moss Side.

When the couple reached a standoff, Badri, who acted as peacemaker, came between them and told them to ‘chill’. As tensions increased, Mohamed pulled a knife and stabbed Badri in the chest.

Raami Mohamed - Credit: GMPRaami Mohamed - Credit: GMP

Raami Mohamed – Credit: GMP

He collapsed as the men continued their violent attack on Badri’s friend. The whole thing unfolded in broad daylight, with passers-by and commuters trying to intervene.

Emergency services rushed to the scene and Badri was taken to hospital, where he unfortunately died. Blake, 20, was accused by prosecutors of “assisting and encouraging” Mohamed in the murder.

Greater Manchester Police’s Major Incident Team has launched an investigation following the tragedy. Detectives spent hours sifting through CCTV footage and building up a picture of the movements of those involved in the days before the attack.

The car Mohamed and Blake were in was found by a local police officer in a car park on Arrow Street, Salford. Forensic specialists found Badri’s blood near the gear lever.

Police and forensic officers on Moss Lane East.  Credit: Manchester Evening NewsPolice and forensic officers on Moss Lane East.  Credit: Manchester Evening News

Police and forensic officers on Moss Lane East. Credit: Manchester Evening News

Officers executed a warrant at Mohamed’s last known address on Fairy Lane, Cheetham Hill. He wasn’t there, but police were able to seize evidence linking him to the car. He was later arrested in Heaton Street in Prestwich.

Kevell Blake’s house was then raided. Police found clothing that matched what they knew he was wearing hours after the attack. Analysis of phone records showed there was extensive contact between Mohamed and Blake in the hours leading up to the attack.

At 6:05 PM, the day Badri died, their devices were in the same location. They were probably in the car together. An hour and a half later, Badri was stabbed with a knife.

Hours later, Mohamed and Blake appeared to meet at a home on Recreation Street, police said. The next morning, detectives discovered that Mohamed had been in contact with a lawyer in Birmingham. He had ordered a taxi to the notary’s office.

They were later charged. As the trial continued, there was clearly tension in the air. Police had to stand outside the courtroom to ensure there was no disruption to the proceedings.

Police and forensic officers on Moss Lane East.  Credit: Manchester Evening NewsPolice and forensic officers on Moss Lane East.  Credit: Manchester Evening News

Police and forensic officers on Moss Lane East. Credit: Manchester Evening News

Families had to be kept separated and additional officers had to be deployed to monitor the process. When Mohamed gave evidence, he claimed that Badri was the violent one, falsely claiming that he had brought the knife and that he had pulled it away during a struggle and used it in self-defence.

Jurors saw through his lies and convicted him of murder on May 9. When Mohamed appeared at a sentencing hearing this week, Judge Elizabeth Nicolls referred to the fight outside the court.

“I am aware that inappropriate and potentially criminal behavior has taken place outside this court following the sentencing,” she said. “This is a case where there are no winners and at the center of this tragedy is a young man who lost his life for no reason and those responsible must live with the guilty for the rest of their lives.

“Violent episodes don’t help anything, they don’t help anyone. There was plenty of violence on October 25, caused by anger. Do not repeat these mistakes, please conduct yourself with dignity and let everyone grieve their losses in their own way.

“Badri Issa’s brother, Gulad, was right. Too many lives have been senselessly cut short. This cycle of violence must end.”

Mohamed, of Fairy Lane, was given a life sentence, with a minimum term of 18 years. Blake, of Bronshill Drive, will be sentenced on July 19.

‘More than just a son and brother’

In a tribute released following the trial, Badri’s family said: “Badri was more than just a son and brother. He was a friend, a confidante and a beacon of light in our family. His selflessness and unwavering commitment to peace and harmony were evident in every aspect of his life. He always believed in the power of dialogue and understanding, and he never hesitated to intervene when he saw something wrong that needed to be righted.

“On that fateful day, Badri acted in accordance with his principles. He saw a situation escalating and knew that his intervention could prevent further damage. In a world where it is often easier to turn a blind eye, Badri chose to be a peacemaker. He chose to take action, step forward and try to defuse a potentially dangerous situation. This courageous act took him from us.

Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square - Credit: ABNM PhotographyManchester Crown Court, Crown Square - Credit: ABNM Photography

Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square – Credit: ABNM Photography

“Badri’s legacy is one of courage, compassion and sacrifice. He was a true hero, and his actions that day were a testament to his character. He gave his life to protect others, and embodied the essence of what it means to be selfless.

“Badri’s life, even though it was short, had a profound impact on all who knew him. He will continue to inspire us to be better, strive for peace and help those in need. We will remember him not for the way he died, but for the way he lived with integrity, kindness and an unyielding commitment to making the world a better place. Always in our duas (supplication).

“Badri’s memory will live on in the acts of kindness and courage that each of us performs in our daily lives.”

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Naismith from our Major Incident Team said: “Badri Issa was so young when he lost his life in the most tragic way. Having just graduated from university, he was about to start a new life, a new career and achieving new milestones. He paid the ultimate price for his efforts to de-escalate a situation.

“Since day one, Badri has been at the center of our investigation, and we have had teams of officers working around the clock to find answers for his family. I know that no outcome will ever ease the pain his family feels, but I hope that [the] The conviction gives his loved ones some comfort in knowing that his killers are behind bars.”

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