Imam killer thought victim was the anti-Christ, court hears

06:32 31 May 2012

Maymoun Zazour

Maymoun Zazour

Archant

An illegal immigrant who killed the blind Imam of a Finsbury Park mosque claimed his victim was the “anti-Christ” and it was judgement day, a court heard this week.

Hamza Boutouil, 25, also known as Aissa Menasria, subjected 39-year-old Sheikh Maymoun Zazour to a vicious beating before strangling him to death with an ornamental cord at the Muslim Welfare Centre, Seven Sisters Road, in September, the prosecution said.

But Jonathan Turner QC, prosecuting, said: “The Imam had not sold his life cheaply. He had fought back, despite his blindness.”

The Old Bailey jury was told on Monday there was no doubt Boutouil, an Algerian national, had killed the Imam. It was being asked to decide if he was clinically insane.

CCTV footage shown to the court captured Boutouil in an altercation with a man and then two girls outside Finsbury Park Tube Station a few hours prior to the attack.

He then picked up a pigeon and carried it away for an unknown purpose, before heading to the mosque at around 4am, said Mr Turner.

He said Boutouil disturbed fellow Muslims by reading loudly from the Koran during morning prayers and at around 8.40am went to Sheikh Zazour’s room.

“They are in there together for about an hour, during which time the Imam was killed,” said Mr Turner.

The post-mortem, which gave the cause of death as strangulation, also found a head injury and blunt object wounds consistent with a “violent struggle”, the jury was told.

Sheikh Zazour’s blood was found on Boutouil’s shoes, and the killer’s DNA was on the cord, the court heard.

Mr Turner said that at about 11.30am, he reappeared at the Muslim Welfare Centre and began “raving”.

“Among the things he was saying, which bystanders translated from Arabic so the police could understand, was that he had killed the anti-Christ – and by that he meant the Imam – and that this was judgement day.”

Boutouil, of no fixed address, denies manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The trial continues.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crime news

Monday, May 25, 2015

A 13-year old girl was raped by a man after meeting him the day before in Camden.

Friday, May 22, 2015
The woman was dragged through the gates of Brockwell Park in Brixton and raped

A 41-year-old woman was dragged into Brockwell Park in Herne Hill, near Brixton, before being raped by two men.

Friday, May 22, 2015
Three people were injured in the violent burglary

Three people were viciously attacked by a trio of burglars wielding hammers, knives and crowbars at the General Elliott pub in St John’s Road, Uxbridge.

Thursday, May 21, 2015
A man and a woman were assaulted at this quiet train station in Enfield [Photograph from Google StreetView]

Two men have been arrested after a young couple were pushed onto the train tracks at Turkey Street station on Thursday April 2.

Thursday, May 21, 2015
The man was attacked as he waited for the Tube at West Ham station [Photograph by Chris McKenna]

A man was injured in an unprovoked attack with a makeshift knuckleduster at West Ham Tube station, and British Transport Police (BTP) are appealing for witnesses.

Thursday, May 21, 2015
Chief Inspector Paul Cahill will appear in court

A top gay police officer who was awarded an MBE has been summonsed to court today on drugs charges.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Read more