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Thursday, 9 July 2009

Failed Asylum Seeker Convicted of Brutal Murder

Mossab Belhocine, 19, part of an Algerian pickpocket ring operating in London, kicked and stamped sales assistant David Cooper, 28, to death.

He kicked Mr Cooper so hard in the face that an imprint of the sole of his trainer remained on the man's face.

As if that wasn't bad enough, when caught Belhocine lied about what had happened, claiming that Mr Cooper (who was homosexual) had tried to rape him, which triggered 'past memories of abuse' and apparently justified the savage attack.

It later emerged that he had been planning to rob Cooper for weeks prior to his death.

The full story:

A FAILED asylum seeker has been found guilty of kicking a sales assistant to death.

Mossab Belhocine, 19, of Forest Road, Walthamstow, kicked and beat 28-year-old David Cooper to death in November last year.

The Algerian national kicked his victim so hard an imprint of his trainer was left on Mr Cooper’s face.

During the eight-day Old Bailey trial the court heard how Belhocine, also known as Adam Saidi, met Mr Cooper in Soho before the pair travelled to the victim's flat in Calderwood Street, Woolwich.

The killer says he punched and kicked the sales assistant to stop him from raping him, but the court was told the Algerian had been planning a robbery.

Belhocine, from Walthamstow, ransacked the flat for valuables while Mr Cooper lay dying on the floor.

He stole a silver bracelet, a DVD player, a computer console, a television, a laptop and an Oyster card before stuffing the items in two bags and leaving the flat.

Police traced the killer on Mr Cooper's Oyster card and arrested him shortly afterwards.

Belhocine, who denied murder, had claimed he was sexually abused as a child and believed this memory may have triggered his anger on the night of Mr Cooper's death.

The failed asylum seeker came to the UK on a visitor's visa in 2007.

The court heard he was part of a network of Algerian pickpockets operating in the Finsbury Park area, which he denied.

Belhocine was convicted of murder and robbery and will be sentenced tomorrow.

Update: Mossab Belhocine has been handed a life sentence:

Belhocine cried as he was led away after being sentenced to a minimum of 24 years in jail for murder and 10 years for robbery, to run concurrently.

Another charge of robbery will lie on file and he will be immediately eligible for deportation.

Giving the sentence Judge Stephen Kramer called it “a lethal and ferocious attack”.

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