Murder of Jimmy Mizen

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Jimmy Mizen
Born James Mizen
(1992-05-09)9 May 1992
London, England
Died 10 May 2008(2008-05-10) (aged 16)
Lee Green, London, England
Cause of death
Blood loss
Nationality British
Ethnicity White British
Known for Murder victim
Home town London
Parents Barry and Margaret Mizen

Jimmy Mizen was a 16-year-old schoolboy who was murdered on 10 May 2008 in Lee Green, London. A 19-year-old youth, Jake Fahri, was arrested and convicted in March 2009 of his murder.[1]

Background[edit]

Mizen (9 May 1992 – 10 May 2008) was the son of Barry and Margaret Mizen. He was their sixth son and eighth child.[2] Mizen was 16 years old, 6 feet 4 inches (193 cm) tall and 14 stone (89 kg). He lived in Lee Green and attended St Thomas More Catholic Comprehensive School in Eltham, south east London.

Jake Fahri had a string of convictions involving robbery and violence. On 19 July 2004, he was given a nine-month referral order for taking part in a gang knife-point robbery of a schoolboy at Falconwood station in Bexley, southeast London. On 4 January 2005, he was given a 12-month supervision order for the robbery of an adult in Greenwich Park on 13 April 2004. On 13 April 2006, he was given an 18-month supervision order for an unprovoked assault on a girl in the street and burglary.[3]

The Mizen family had previous dealings with Jake Fahri. In 2001 he walked up to Harry Mizen in the street and asked for money before punching him in the stomach. Harry, who was 10 years old, handed over 20p but told his mother about the incident and she made a complaint to Fahri's school. Two years later, on 1 April 2003, Fahri saw Harry in Woodyates Road, Lee, and demanded to know why he had 'grassed'. Harry tried to escape but Fahri grabbed hold of his shirt and threatened to beat him up before punching him in the chest. Police visited Fahri's home on 7 May 2003, to speak to him about the incident and gave him a harassment warning. The culmination of these events led to the incident in which Jimmy Mizen was murdered, in which Harry Mizen, Jimmy's brother, had been mugged a two times by Jake Fahri over the course of six years, prior to the death of Jimmy.

Harry had turned Fahri over to the school on the first count, with Jake proposing to never succumb to mugging again, and after five years, Jake seemed to recognise Harry, mugging him a second time before he was turned over to the police.

At the bakery years later, Jake recognised Harry; however, set his sights on Jimmy – inevitably causing his death.

Incident[edit]

At approximately 11.30 on the morning of Saturday, 10 May 2008, a day after his sixteenth birthday, Jimmy Mizen was inside the Three Cooks Bakery in Burnt Ash Hill, south London, with his brother Harry. Jake Fahri, 19, of Milborough Crescent, Lee, entered the shop and an altercation began when Jimmy Mizen stood up to threats being made against him by Fahri.

5 feet 7 inches (170 cm) Fahri challenged Mizen to go outside the shop but Mizen refused.[4] Not wanting to lose face after picking a fight with Jimmy Mizen, Fahri went back in the shop and hit Jimmy Mizen with two plastic drinks. The Mizen brothers defended themselves and traded punches with Fahri. All three then crashed into a glass cake display, before Fahri was bundled out of the shop.[5]

Fahri then re-entered the shop with a metal-framed advertising sign and started poking Jimmy Mizen with it. Mizen held onto the sign, and Fahri reached for a 12 inch (30 cm) hot glass dish from the counter and threw it at Jimmy Mizen. Shattering on his chin, a one-and-a-half-inch glass shard pierced his neck and severed vital blood vessels. According to witnesses Fahri exited the bakery with a triumphant grin on his face.

Mizen managed to stagger into the rear of the bakery, and into a cupboard, to shield himself from who he thought was Jake returning, where his older brother Tommy, (27 at the time), found him. Jimmy Mizen collapsed in his brother's arms. Their mother Margaret arrived soon after and fainted at sight of her son. She regained consciousness soon after, and called her husband (Barry Mizen) who arrived an hour later, only to find his son had died.

Arrest, investigation and trial[edit]

Fahri handed himself into police custody three days later after the attack.[6] In police recordings of his interviews, Fahri commented: "Someone has died because of me. I didn't mean it, I didn't mean to kill him."

Fahri's account of events was that he panicked when he thought he was losing grip on the advertising sign. Fahri, crying, said: "I can feel it coming out of my hands so I panicked. I looked to my left. There was a tray there. I picked it up and threw it. I didn't mean to hit him, I didn't. I just threw it. I thought he would put his hands up so he'd let go of the sign. All I wanted to do is, I didn't want him to hit me with the sign, so I picked up the dish. I didn't think it would smash and I threw it and it hit him and it hit him. I didn't mean... I didn't mean it to... for that to happen... I didn't mean to hit him. didn't want to hurt him, didn't want to. I might have been lippy at the start, you know, but I didn't mean it to happen." He said he ran off when Jimmy Mizen let go of the sign. He was challenged by Jimmy's older brother Tommy, 27, outside the shop. Fahri said he only learned of Mizen's death when his mother rang him to explain what had happened. Fahri said he went in the shop for a sandwich. He changed his mind and turning around saw Mizen was standing in his way. Fahri said: "I've made a step and looked at him to say, you know I'm trying to get past. I didn't get no reaction so I've brushed past him and he's obviously, he took offence to that, and he said 'Don't touch me'." He then challenged the Mizens's to go outside but re-entered after seeing Harry on the phone summoning Tommy to help.

Fahri was remanded in custody and stood trial for the murder of Jimmy Mizen at the Central Criminal Court on 11 March 2009 before Mr Justice Calvert-Smith and a jury. At his trial, Fahri admitted throwing the glass dish but denied murder.

Crispin Aylett QC, prosecuting, said: "A trivial incident, brought about by the defendant's rudeness, escalated into something horrific. The defendant reached for any and every available weapon with which to attack the Mizen brothers. The whole incident lasted no more than three minutes – three minutes of absolute madness on the part of this defendant."

Pathologist Dr Benjamin Swift told the court that Jimmy Mizen died from loss of blood. A glass shard had severed the carotid artery and jugular veins which were both 0.4in (1 cm) below the skin near the jaw.

However, the jury rejected Fahri's version of events and found him guilty of murder. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of fourteen years.[7]

The Jimmy Mizen Foundation[edit]

The Mizen family opened a cafe in Hither Green in 2010, a mile away from the bakery where Jimmy Mizen was killed. The Cafe of Good Hope is next door to the headquarters of the Jimmy Mizen Foundation.[8]

The cafe is run by Jimmy Mizen's older brother Billy, who is a trained patissier. Two other brothers Bobby, and Tommy are also involved in the running of the cafe. All proceeds from the cafe go towards running various charity and community projects and for local youngsters to get work experience at the cafe.

In 2010, The Tablet named the Mizen family as among Britain’s most influential Roman Catholics. Jimmy Mizen's parents Barry and Margaret Mizen were both appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to young people in London.[9][10]

References[edit]

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