Killer of Finsbury Park Imam judged insane and sent to mental hospital indefinitely

13:38 08 June 2012

IGZ-WK37-11-Maimoun Zazour

IGZ-WK37-11-Maimoun Zazour

Archant

The schizophrenic who strangled the blind Imam of a Finsbury Park mosque claiming he was the “anti-Christ” is legally insane, a court has ruled.

Hamza Boutouil, 25, also known as Aissa Menasria, was found not guilty of manslaughter by an Old Bailey jury and was sent to a mental hospital indefinitely.

Boutouil savagely beat 39-year-old Sheikh Maymoun Zazour before strangling him to death with an ornamental cord at the Muslim Welfare House in Seven Sisters Road, beside Finsbury Park station, last September.

The Algerian national has never denied the killing, and following a three-day trial, he was judged unfit to plead by a jury.

Judge Paul Worsley QC made an indefinite hospital order under the Mental Health Act on Friday, June 1, and told Boutouil: “This death, as I’m sure you will accept, was a tragedy for his family and congregation. He was a popular and caring pastor.”

Earlier, the court saw CCTV footage of Boutouil in altercations with a man and then two girls.

In morning prayers at the Muslim Welfare House he shocked fellow worshippers by reading loudly from the Koran before he went to Mr Zazour’s room.

Jonathon Turner, prosecuting, said: “They were in there together for about an hour, during which time the Imam was killed.”

The post-mortem said the cause of death was strangulation and found a head injury and wounds consistent with a “violent struggle”, the jury was told.

After the attack, Boutouil tried to gain access to the nearby Finsbury Park Mosque. When he couldn’t get in he returned to the scene of the crime and started “raving”.

Mr Turner said: “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.”

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 12:44
American journalist James Foley while covering the civil war in Aleppo, Syria (AP Photo/freejamesfoley.org, Nicole Tung, File)

The SAS is closing in on the man known as ‘John’, suspected of being from London, who brutally executed US journalist James Foley.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:10
Ishak Ayiris is set to study at Eton College.  Photograph by Lucy Ray

A schoolboy who secured top marks in his GCSEs is set to follow in the footsteps of David Cameron and Boris Johnson after winning a scholarship to Eton worth £76,000.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:49
The student was caught trying to board a flight at Stansted Airport with eight flares in his luggage (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

A student from north London was caught trying to board a plane at Stansted Airport with eight explosive flares and a terrorist manual.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

James Bond is Britain’s most famous secret agent, and the capital is its most famous city, so it makes sense that 007 would live and work here when he isn’t gallivanting around the world.

Read more
Can you find the animals hiding in London station names? (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

You may not realise it but there are animals hiding in stations across London? Play our quiz and see if you can you find them:

Read more
Can you guess the Tube station just from the outside? (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

How well do you know your Tube stations? Can you guess these Underground stops from the pictures taken outside them?

Read more