Four men jailed for murder of innocent Stepney man in front of his wife

Four men will each spend at least 24 years in prison for the murder of an innocent man who was stabbed to death in front of his wife and sister.

Kowshar Hussain, 24, was set upon by the gang who used knives, screwdrivers and a wheel brace against him before fleeing the scene in Master’s Street, Stepney in the early hours of April 2.

He had only gone to the area to pick up a baby-seat from the car of his brother-in-law, Shabir Ali who had had a run-in with the gang earlier that night.

The Old Bailey heard how the brutal attack was revenge for a “trivial incident” in Jamaica Street involving Mr Ali and two of the killers.

When Mr Hussain arrived at the address to transfer the seat, he was pounced upon as his terrified wife and sister waited in the car.

He had put out his hands to show the gang he was not armed as he lay defenceless on the ground, the court heard.

Police said the victim, of Chudleigh Street, was simply “in the wrong place at the wrong time”.

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Brothers Anthony Fraser, 33, of Glamis Road and Bobby Lawrence, 22, were jailed for life with minimum terms of 26 years each.

Jonathan Joseph-Bell, 25, and getaway driver Liam Whitnell, 28, of Stifford House, Stepney Way were each given life sentences with 24-year minimum terms.

Lawrence, of Proton Tower, Blackwall Way and Joseph-Bell, 25, of Dock Street were the two who had a run-in with the Mr Ali and others earlier that night.

Old Bailey Judge Richard Hone said the attackers knew Mr Hussain had not been involved but he was killed anyway.

He said: “This is another street stabbing of an innocent man who was mindlessly murdered in revenge on account of a trivial incident in which the deceased played no part.”

Det insp Nigel Foster, from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said: “His attackers left him for dead in the street. He was an entirely innocent bystander.”