A dentist who believed he was possessed by evil spirits stabbed Zakariyya Islam to death last year at a centre which claims to treat black magic. Islam was stabbed in the chest and stomach puncturing the heart.
A witness reported hearing a disturbance at the centre in Greatorex Street in Whitechapel at around 6.40pm on September 14, which lasted around two or three minutes, before Islam appeared and said: “Call the police, somebody stabbed me.”
The 45-year-old, who attended the East London Mosque, died around 30 minutes later.
Ashfaq Choudhry was arrested soon after attacking father-of-three Zakariyya Islam at the Tower of London when he tried to jump into the moat. He confessed to officers and members of the public that he had stabbed someone.
Three weeks before the murder, Choudhry visited Islam at the centre. Choudhry said he was told that he was possessed by spirits.
His wife Roma said in a statement: “We had been together nearly 24 years and our children were his pride and joy.
“I feel completely in pieces. It is hard to see my life go on without him.”
Referring to Choudhry she added: “If he was genuinely ill and not in control of his actions at the time then I view him as a victim.
Sentencing Choudhry, the judge Richard Marks QC, the Common Serjeant of London, said Mr Islam was an “outstanding individual” who had been well-intentioned in his words and actions.
Addressing the defendant, he said: “There is no doubt that he (Mr Islam) was doing what he genuinely thought was best in order to alleviate your symptoms.”
“This is manifestly a case of diminished responsibility.”
Choudhry was given a hospital order under sections 37 and 41 of the Mental Health Act and detained indefinitely.