Mohammed Al-Shihabi, 26 of Lighthouse View, Greenwich, was found guilty of manslaughter and possession of a bladed article at Woolwich Crown Court on Monday, 4 April after fatally stabbing Mazaza Owusu-Mensah, 18, who lived in Greenhithe in Kent, in a brief but deadly altercation in March 2021.
Al-Shihabi was found not guilty of murder.
He was sentenced at the same court on Wednesday, 4 May as follows:
- Manslaughter – nine years
- Possession of a bladed article – two years to run concurrent
- Upon release, to be subject to an extended license period of four years.
Al-Shihabi was also sentenced to one year for a separate matter of dangerous driving committed in November 2020.
Police were called at approximately 5.34pm on Saturday, 6 March 2021 to a report of a male suffering serious injuries in Edington Road, Abbey Wood.
Officers attended along with the London Ambulance Service and found Mazaza with a stab wound to his chest. First aid was administered at the scene but despite desperate efforts, he was pronounced dead at the scene at 18:11hrs.
A number of people were believed to have witnessed the assault but declined to assist officers at the scene.
Homicide detectives from the Specialist Crime Command were informed and an investigation was launched.
CCTV examination captured the incident in its entirety. Mazaza, separated from his friends, approached Al-Shihabi and his friends.
A very short conversation ensued resulting in Al-Shihabi jabbing Mazaza’s chest. Mazaza had been stabbed. He made his way back towards his friends, perhaps not quite realising the seriousness of his injury.
His friends took him into a residential address where Mazaza collapsed. An ambulance was called however Mazaza’s injury was so severe that he died at the scene.
The whole confrontation had taken just ten seconds.
Al-Shihabi was identified through fast-paced CCTV enquiries.
Specialist detectives located him on Monday, 13 March. He was taken to a north London police station for questioning before being charged with murder in the early hours of 15 March.
Police officers worked tirelessly to trace the movements of both parties via CCTV in the area across the entire day of the murder. Despite this, door to door enquiries, speaking to local people and various witness appeals, police could establish no clear reason for why the incident unfolded.
Five others were arrested in connection with the murder and later released without further action.
Mazaza’s mother said: “Mazaza was a much loved member of our family and the wider community.
“It is tremendously hard, indeed difficult to convey into words the devastation his sudden passing away in such a brutal manner has had on all of us.
“Mazaza was full of life, very kind and very caring and full of jokes – a total chatterbox.
“He was incredibly loyal, intelligent and well mannered. Mazaza was the most loving son a mother could want – he told others how much he loved his family, never losing that ability to communicate his affection.
“I always remember him with a blue Fanta and Thai sweet chilli Mccoys! He loved his food too – and his music, which he played loudly every morning!
“I miss him every day.”
Detective Inspector Laura Nelson led the investigation. She said: “Ten seconds was all it took for Al-Shihabi to take a life and ruin that of Mazaza’s family.
“My team worked around the clock in the wake of the incident but the reason for the sudden attack has never been satisfactorily explained.
“When Mazaza approached Al-Shihabi and his friends, he had no idea of what was about to unfold. This brief interaction has had a devastating impact.
“Al-Shihabi’s actions wereutterly without justification. He tried to hide afterwards but was quickly arrested. We will continue to work tirelessly to bring those to justice who take the lives of others.
“I implore anyone concerned in carrying a knife; look at this story and stop. No one wins; someone’s life ends and another spends time serving a lengthy prison sentence. The lives of both of their relatives are torn apart.”
– If you have information about a violent crime, do the right thing and contact the police. You can provide information anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.