Adam Abdul Basit: 'He died all alone,' says detective as Sheffield duo are found guilty of teen's murder
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Two Sheffield teenagers who fatally stabbed a 19-year-old and left him to die on a stranger's doorstep have been found guilty of murder.
Despite the best efforts of medics who rushed to the scene, 19-year-old Adam Abdul-Basit died from his injuries outside a property on Smelter Wood Road in the Stradbroke area of Sheffield at just after 1pm on Monday, May 8, 2023. 18-year-olds Xander Howarth, of Richmond Park View, Handsworth, Sheffield, and Thomas Hardiman, of Edenhall Road, Deep Pit, Sheffield, went on trial at Sheffield Crown Court last month accused of Mr Abdul-Basit's murder, a charge they denied.
But today (Monday, December 4, 2023), a jury rejected their account when they found the pair, both of whom were aged 17 at the time of the fatal incident, guilty of murder.
Howarth and Hardimen were spotted on CCTV, wielding knives as they chased Mr Abdul-Basit into the front garden of a Smelter Wood Road property.
Opening the Crown's case to the jury of seven men and five women, prosecutor Peter Moulson KC said last month: "It appears, for some reason, Thomas Hardiman and Xander Howarth gave chase to Mr Abdul-Basit. They were wielding knives, Mr Abdul-Basit also had a knife. Mr Abdul-Basit ran away in the opposite direction."
"The chase by these defendants continued, and Mr Abdul-Basit ran into the front garden of [a Smelter Wood Drive property]. There - the prosecution case is - that Mr Abdul-Basit was effectively cornered by these two defendants, both wielding their knives," Mr Moulson said.
The prosecution case is that Howarth and Hardiman, attacking as a team, stabbed Mr Abdul-Basit. He tried to stab those who chased him. He tries to defend himself, of course," Mr Moulson said, adding that the defendants both ran away from the scene, leaving Mr Abdul-Basit 'clutching his chest and collapsing on the doorstep' of the Smelter Wood Road property. The pair are now due to be sentenced at the same court on December 22, 2023, when they will be handed a life sentence - the mandatory disposal for individuals convicted of murder.
Speaking after Howarth and Hardiman were found guilty, Detective Chief Inspector Phil Etheridge, who led the murder investigation, said: "This was a horrific and savage attack that has destroyed the lives of three young men from Sheffield.
"Hardiman and Howarth both left their homes armed with a knife before plunging it into Adam's chest and leaving him to die in a stabbing that happened in broad daylight down a residential street.
"They must now face the prospect of spending a considerable length of time behind bars, while Adam's family must deal with the unimaginable pain and grief of knowing he will never be able to fulfil his dreams after his life was cut short in barbaric fashion.
"He died all alone on a stranger's doorstep while his attackers showed complete cowardice in fleeing the scene and trying to evade justice.
"Rather than admitting their crimes, they then forced Adam's family to relive this nightmare again in court during a trial and I am pleased the jury have returned a guilty verdict.
"I recognise that no prison sentence will ever repair the hurt and loss caused to Adam's family but I hope they can take some comfort in seeing Hardiman and Howarth convicted today.
"I would like to thank all the officers involved in this case for working hard to gather evidence and secure justice for Adam's loved ones."