Two men who shot and killed a man as he sat in his parked car in Southall have been found guilty of murder following a trial at the Old Bailey.
Malique Thompson-Hill of Burghley Court, Maidenhead and Jermiane Paul of Acacia Avenue, West Drayton were found guilty on 23 and 24 August, of the murder of 26-year-old Khalid Farah.
A third man – Joshua Folorunso, of Station Road, Loudwater – was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice after setting fire to a car used in the murder.
All three will be sentenced at the same court, on a date to be confirmed in September.
During the trial the court heard how Thompson-Hill and Paul conspired to attack Khalid as part of an ongoing dispute.
In the early hours of 11 November 2017, Khalid was sitting in his parked car with a friend in Lady Margaret Road, Southall. At around 1.20am Thompson-Hill and Paul arrived in the area in a black VW Tiguan which was later found to have been stolen and fitted with false number plates.
Khalid appeared to be completely unaware of their presence as one of the occupants of the Tiguan emerged. CCTV showed a man, his identity covered by a hood, raise a shotgun to fire into the driver’s side of the car where Khalid was sitting.
Khalid’s friend ran from the car and the gunman initially raised his firearm at him before returning its aim to Khalid and firing once more. He then ran back to the VW Tiguan which sped away from the scene.
Police and London Ambulance Service attended but nothing could be done to save Khalid – he was taken to St Mary’s Hospital but died at 03:32hrs that morning.
As Khalid lay dying on the pavement, Thompson-Hill and Paul drove a short distance before abandoning their vehicle in a car park in Knowles Close – approximately 500 metres from Paul’s home in West Drayton. Both men went their separate ways but their cover-up attempt continued.
Folorunso was contacted and throughout the course of 11 November there were multiple calls between the three. Later that evening at around 20:00hrs, Folorunso and two other unidentified males arrived in Knowles Close and, in order to destroy any evidence the Tiguan was set on fire.
Detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command began a painstaking investigation to identify those responsible for Khalid’s murder.
They quickly established Thompson-Hill as a potential suspect and he was arrested on 2 December. He was found in possession of mobile phones which were submitted for forensic analysis – this confirmed key numbers that Thompson-Hill had been in communication with around the time of Khalid’s murder.
It was also possible to establish that by matching up the movement of the phones in his possession with CCTV images from similar locations Thompson-Hill was in possession of the stolen VW Tiguan in the days immediately prior to Khalid’s murder.
On 13 December Paul was arrested for an unrelated matter. He was found in possession of mobile phones where the numbers tallied with those that Thompson-Hill had been in contact with.
Both were charged with Khalid’s murder.
Folorunso was tracked down later after a car he was travelling in was stopped. Again, by phone analysis, detectives could link him to both Thompson-Hill and Paul. CCTV analysis also showed Folorunso’s car – with a distinctive number plate – being driven to and from Knowles Close around the time the VW Tiguan was set on fire.
Detective Inspector Garry Moncrieff of the Homicide and Major Crime Command led the investigation – he said:
“While our investigation could not establish which man took the fatal shots that killed Khalid Farah, what is clear is that both Thompson-Hill and Paul conspired together to murder him.
“Phone analysis shows there was considerable contact and planning between the two in the days leading up to the murder, followed by a determined effort to try and destroy evidence using Folorunso.
“Khalid died in a horrific manner; shot from close range as he sat in a car – he did not stand a chance. What the exact motive for the murder remained unclear – however, there had clearly been tensions between Khalid and his murderers.
“This was a complex case that was solved through diligent police work and has seen three men convicted for their part in Khalid’s killing.
“I can only hope that these convictions can bring some form of closure to Khalid’s family and friends.”