Added on 13 November 2017 at 16:27
A 43-year-old man has been jailed for the murder of another man in retribution for him taking a mobile phone used to facilitate a drugs network.
The body of Mohammed Abdurezek was found by a dog walker, hidden in undergrowth, near the village of Siston in South Gloucestershire on Christmas Eve 2016.
He’d been stabbed multiple times to the body and face and his head was covered in a black bin liner.
An investigation was launched by our Major Crime Investigation Team, resulting in 43-year-old Karl Cullen, of no fixed address, being found guilty of murder following a trial at Bristol Crown Court. Cullen also admitted charges of preventing a lawful burial and conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
He was sentenced to life with a minimum of 19 years' imprisonment at the same court today (November 13).
A second man, 23-year-old Abdiwahab Abdulahi, also of no fixed address, was found not guilty of murder but previously admitted a charge of conspiracy to supply class A drugs. He was sentenced to six years and eight months.
Mohammed Abdurezek, known as Maratu, was born in Ethiopia and came to the UK in 2004/05. He previously lived in the Swansea area but was staying in Bristol shortly before his murder.
DCI James Riccio, who led the murder inquiry, said: “Mohammed Abdurezek was executed by Karl Cullen in revenge or retribution for him taking a mobile phone used to organise drug deals.
“He suffered a horrifying death and his body was transported in a black wheelie bin to a country lane near Bristol and callously dumped in undergrowth.
“Following the discovery of Mohammed’s body, we launched a full-scale investigation and were able to trace his movements in the days leading up to his murder.
“It became clear that Mohammed had become involved with a drugs supply network which operated out of a flat in Church Drive, St George. This established clear links between him and Karl Cullen – who was running the network along with Abdulahi.
“This flat had belonged to a vulnerable man with significant health problems and Cullen had moved into it without permission in order to use it as a base to deal drugs – a practice known as cuckooing.
“It was here that Cullen carried out his deadly attack on Mohammed, on or around 9 or 10 December, before removing his body and carrying out a concerted clean-up operation inside the flat.
“Our enquiries focussed on telephone usage, ANPR data and CCTV enquiries and we located footage showing Cullen’s Ford Mondeo travelling towards Siston on 10 December. This is when we believe Mohammed’s body was deposited.
“Forensic investigators found traces of Mohammed’s blood on the floor and walls at the flat in Church Drive and on items of furniture found at a second flat in Craftes Court, where Cullen had moved to shortly after the murder, including a sofa-bed.
“Officers’ Body Worn Video evidence was also a key element in this case.
“The violence shown by Cullen in response to the loss of a mobile phone pivotal to the drugs network is shocking and Mohammed didn’t deserve to die in this way.
“My thoughts are very much with Mohammed’s family and friends and I’d like to pay tribute to all the witnesses who helped us secure these convictions.
“The inquiry team has worked relentlessly to gather evidence and build a comprehensive picture of how and why Mohammed died and I want to publically thank each of them for their tireless efforts.”