Abdul Korim Ali: Killer confessed to James Cromwell's brother

Image source, Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption,
Abdul Korim Ali showed his "hypocrisy" by leaving flowers for his victim, according to the judge

A man who confessed to killing his childhood friend to his victim's brother has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 23 years for murder.

James Cromwell, 27, died from a single stab wound to the heart from Abdul Korim Ali in Cambridge on 30 June.

Ali, 25, tearfully told Mr Cromwell's brother "I'm sorry, man. I didn't mean to," and was later convicted of murder at Cambridge Crown Court.

The judge said: "The tears you shed were not of remorse, but for yourself."

On sentencing after a seven-day trial, Judge David Farrell said the murder came against the "backdrop of the shadowy world of drug dealing".

Image source, Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption,
James Cromwell was a father to a young boy

The court was told the pair, who went to primary school together, had a confrontation over drug supply.

Ali was a "habitual" carrier of knives "just in case" and the judge said the stabbing in Darwin Drive, Cambridge - where Ali lived - was a "spontaneous act arising out of anger".

Judge Farrell said Mr Cromwell, of Lady Margaret Road, Cambridge, ran off after being stabbed but collapsed 178m (584ft) away in Stretten Avenue "literally bleeding to death".

Ali then went back to his house and about an hour later spoke to Mr Cromwell's younger brother, Luke, over the phone.

He said: "I'm sorry, man. I didn't mean to. I don't want to go to prison."

Image source, Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption,
A knife was found in Ali's neighbours garden after a police search, but it had been washed

He then further showed his "hypocrisy", according to the judge, by laying flowers in tribute to his victim.

Ali had denied murder in court, saying he was in bed ill at 22:30 when the stabbing took place.

His brother, Abdul Salam Ali, 24, was also found guilty of intimidating a witness in relation to the case and jailed for three years, which will commence when his current jail term for drug offences concludes.

The brothers had also plead guilty to charges relating to the unlawful use of a mobile phone in custody and given eight-month concurrent sentences.

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