The family of a Birmingham college student have spoken of their “heartbroken loss” following the knife killing of 16-year-old Azim Azam as another teenager was jailed for life for stabbing him in a petty squabble.
Azim was en route to his first full day at Bournville College on September 16 last year when he bumped into Azeem Akhtar, of Kings Heath, on the No 2 bus in Moseley.
It is understood the pair had fallen out months earlier with Akhtar telling friends he lunged at Azim with the kitchen knife in revenge for being “snaked” a slang term for insulted.
The victim, from Yardley, died from a single stab wound to the chest and Akhtar, 18, was today sentenced to life and will serve a minimum of 16 years and three months.
A statement issued by West Midlands Police on behalf of Azim’s family told how he left for college “smiling and full of hope” but was never to return home.
It read: “We still feel lost and heartbroken over the loss of Azim. A mother should never have to bury her son.
“Nothing will ever bring our boy back but some peace may be found knowing the person who killed him isn’t free to walk the streets carrying a knife, putting further lives at risk. To us this behaviour is so unacceptable.
“An innocent boy’s life was lost whilst on his way to his first day at college. He left that morning smiling and full of hope for his future. We will never forget the way Azim lost his life. We will always miss him and love him.”
Det Supt Mark Payne of West Midlands Police, said the case sent out stark warnings over the danger of carrying knives in public.
He said: “Had Akhtar not been carrying a knife they may well have had a bit of a dust up and most likely walked away with a few cuts and bruises; who knows, it may well have settled their differences.
“But carrying a knife, or indeed anything that could be used as a weapon, is a game changer: if you set foot in public with a knife you not only endanger other people’s lives but also your own. If someone with a knife gets caught up in a row or scuffle there’s every chance that knife could be used to injure or kill ? and may well be used against the carrier.
“Anyone using a knife in anger can expect to waste much of their life behind bars.”