Abdulwahab Hafidah was chased through the Moss Side area of Manchester on 12 May 2016 before the gang attacked him with a hammer, ran over him and stabbed him. Hafidah died in hospital two days later.
Speaking about their loss, Hafidah’s family gave a statement stating:
“Abdulwahab started each day by greeting his mother and father with a kiss on their foreheads. [He] did not die as a result of accident or ill health; he was hunted down, attacked and ripped away from our lives forever in a senseless act of brutality and we as a family are totally devastated by his loss.”
It has been widely reported the victim was a friend of Salman Abedi, who killed 22 people in a suicide attack on Manchester Arena earlier this year. The friendship has not been confirmed by the police as investigations by the counter-terrorism unit are underway. Abedi’s sister has suggested the murder of his friend could have pushed Abedi to carry out the attack on Manchester Arena.
Hafidah belonged to a gang called the Rusholme Crips with the attack carried out by rival gang ‘AO’ (Action Only). Prior to his death, Hafidah had been arrested on suspicion of attacking one of the men now found guilty of his murder. The case was dropped after the victim refused to give evidence against Hafidah. It is widely believed the attack leading to Hafidah’s death was spurred by him entering AO territory.
Ten men have been convicted and one 14-year-old boy has also been convicted. Seven members of the gang have been found guilty of murder and four have been found guilty of manslaughter. The group are due to be sentenced in September.
Speaking about the case and its wider impact, DCI Terry Crompton stated:
“Moss Side is a supportive and close-knit community; incidents like this do not represent much of the community. I hope that today’s convictions show that with violence and knife crime there are no winners, and we need to stand together as a community to ensure incidents like this one don’t happen ever again.”