Colchester: Man found guilty of murdering 'loving and caring' man
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Following a three-week trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, Rakar Rahimi, 23 of no fixed abode was found guilty of murder today. An investigation began on Monday, 12 September after officers were called to Distillery Lane in Colchester following reports of a serious assault. The victim, Bako Azad Sheikha sadly died at the scene.
Rahimi was quickly identified as a suspect and following investigative work from Essex and Kent Serious Crime Directorate, he was located in Dover and arrested. Investigating officers believe he was attempting to leave the country.
He was charged with murder on 15 September and remanded into custody ahead of his trial beginning on Monday, 5 June. Today, (21 June) a jury found him guilty of murder. He will be sentenced on Thursday, 22 June.
Following today’s conviction, Bako’s brother Shaho has paid tribute to him:
“My brother Bako was murdered. He was killed by his best friend. My brother Bako welcomed Raka into his home, gave him a job and introduced Raka to the Kurdish community in Colchester. Raka repaid Bako by killing him. I miss my little brother so much that I cannot find the words to truly express how I feel.
“Bako was the most loving and caring person you could ever have met and because of this he was extremely popular with anyone he met, he always made everyone laugh and smile, especially with his singing.
“Bako was always busy, he never wanted to be bored and he would always be willing to help anyone he could. Bako used to help others through the charity RAMA which he volunteered at. Bako wanted to make a difference to other young people who had also fled their country due to dangerous situations. Bako was always so generous and such a kind soul.”
Shaho describes how Bako fled Iraq and dreamt of seeking asylum in England. He endured a difficult journey before arriving and obtaining official status before setting up a business in Colchester.
“Bako was intelligent and driven and had recently started a small business in Colchester selling American sweets. He was so happy and proud of himself for doing this. All of us were proud of Bako for starting a business so young, who knows where he would have taken his business, but I know he would have made it a success because he worked so hard. Bako grasped every opportunity he could to make his life, and others around him better.
“Our family will never be the same without our Bako. My mum and dad are truly heart broken. My Dad used to say Bako was our Lion. We have now lost our Lion.
Bako volunteered at Refugee, Asylum Seeker and Migrant Action (RAMA) who support those seeking refuge in the UK.
Shelley Braddock-Overbury from RAMA has paid tribute to Bako saying:
“He had an infectious smile and would chat to everyone. He was cheeky and charming, was often late, but always with a reason, and was a very polite and gracious young man. He was very grateful for any help he received, or help that others received who he brought to us.
“He once brought in a vulnerable young person to see if we could help them, which we were able to, and he helped to interpret for all their appointments with us as they had a shared language, and Bako was bilingual.
“Following that day, he would help with interpreting for not only that young person, but others as well. He would call me to check on people, it was always about helping others. Even when he was working, he would insist I call him to help with interpretation if we needed it. Then after about a year and a half of knowing Bako, he needed some administrative help himself, and we both laughed as I set him up as a client, since he was almost like a part of our team at that stage.
“He was open and kind. He wore his heart on his sleeve. He had his ups and downs like any young person, especially given the fact that he had arrived to the UK alone at such a young age and been through a lot. I always admired his strength of character and resilience, and I found him a warm presence in our offices. He always made us smile and we have fond memories. Even colleagues that had only a small interaction with Bako will think of him fondly, because he was a memorable person, and we are devastated that he is no longer here.”
Detective Chief Inspector Antony Alcock, Senior Investigating Officer in the case said;
“From the start, our detectives worked quickly to establish what had happened and locate Rahimi, with support from other forces, to bring him to justice.
“Bako’s death had a devastating impact on those who knew him and it’s clear that he was a well-respected young man who wanted to help others.
“We have spent a lot of time with the Kurdish community in Essex and Suffolk, who have given Essex Police vital support throughout this investigation. I would like to thank them, as without their help, it’s possible that Rahimi would have left the country prior to being arrested.
“I hope that Bako’s loved ones are able to move forward and that today’s conviction provides them with some closure and reassurance that Essex Police will always work hard to secure justice.”