Colchester: Man sentenced to life in prison for murder of his 'best friend'
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Rakar Rahimi, 23 of no fixed abode appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court this afternoon (22 June) for sentencing, after a jury found him guilty of murder following a three week trial.
An investigation was launched on Monday, 12 September after Essex Police were called to Distillery Lane in Colchester shortly before 2am. Witnesses reported seeing a man being thrown from the car and run over with a car multiple times.
Officers arrived at the scene quickly and located the victim with a stab wound and multiple other injuries. He sadly died at the scene.
The victim was later identified as 22-year-old Bako Azad Sheikha, who arrived in the UK in 2015 from Iraq as an asylum seeker. Bako’s family and friends described how since moving to the UK, Bako had “wanted to make a difference to other young people who had also fled their country due to dangerous situations.”
A murder investigation was launched by Essex and Kent Serious Crime Directorate and managed by Detective Chief Inspector Antony Alcock. DCI Alcock said “From the moment that call came into us, our priority was to locate the person responsible and bring them to justice.
“Our detectives worked quickly, carrying out house to house enquiries and reviewing CCTV from the area. From this, Rakar Rahimi was identified as the main suspect in this investigation.
“One of our main lines of enquiry after this, was speaking to people within the Kurdish Community. This helped us build a picture of where Rahimi could be. It revealed how after the murder, Rakar Rahimi visited a barber shop in Ipswich, where he’d made admissions that he had stabbed Bako and run him over. Whilst in Ipswich, Rahimi also purchased a new mobile phone and sim card.”
Officers continued to review Rahimi’s movements and CCTV showed him taking multiple trains from Ipswich to London and towards Dover.
During this time frame, Bako’s car, which Rahimi had used to drive away from the scene, was found crashed and abandoned on farmland in Tolleshunt D’arcy. Close to this, officers also found cash and a jacket with the victim’s blood on it.
After concluding that Rahimi was likely to be heading to Dover, detectives alerted Port of Dover Police and shortly after 11pm on 12 September, Rahimi was arrested on suspicion of murder.
DCI Alcock added “All of these enquiries, which were carried out quickly, allowed us to build a picture of where Rahimi was heading to.
“Without the assistance of those we spoke with, we would not have been able to arrest Rakar Rahimi within 24 hours of the murder and it’s likely he would have left the country.”
Following his arrest, Rakar Rahimi was charged on Thursday, 15 September and remanded into custody ahead of his trial.
Following the three week trial, he appeared in court on Thursday, 22 June where he was sentenced to life in prison, to serve a minimum of 24 years and 87 days.
DCI Alcock added “This was a senseless murder by Rakar Rahimi, who Bako trusted and considered to be a friend. The level of violence that Rahimi used, by stabbing Bako and running him over shows him to be a dangerous individual.
“Throughout the trial, Rahimi created elaborate defences for his actions and mislead the court.
“He claimed that his actions were as a result of Bako making sexual advances towards him which is absolutely untrue. This was consequently published in the media which has caused Bako’s family further distress.
“The murder left the community incredibly shaken and I have reached out to thank those within the Kurdish community who helped directly with this investigation.
“I hope that those affected feel a sense of closure and are able to move forward from Bako’s tragic death.”