Student stabbing

Student jailed for stabbing his housemate to death after a fight over his music taste

Syed Hussain-Kazi called his housemate a homophobic slur before stabbing him with a kitchen knife

A student has been jailed for a minimum of 18-years after stabbing his housemate to death with a kitchen knife over a row about his music taste.

University of Hull student Sachin Hawkins died after he was stabbed in the chest on the 15th November 2023 and 25-year-old student Syed Hussain-Kazi was convicted of his murder.

Passing sentence at Hull Crown Court, a judge told him he had “needlessly and mercilessly” taken the second-year student’s life.

The two students had been listening to music and tidying up their student kitchen when Hussain-Kazi started making fun of his taste in music. They usually called each other names, the court heard, but the argument escalated when Sachin was called a homophobic slur.

Hussain-Kazi then held his housemate against a wall and stabbed him in the chest with a kitchen knife, causing him to fall to the floor. Another student in the house held Hussain-Kazi back.

He said “I need to go”, stepping over Sachin and saying “I’m sorry” before leaving the house. He later told police that he did not intend to cause any harm to his friend. They met during their first year at The University of Hull.

Sachin Hawkins

Sachin Hawkins, an international student from Freeport in the US, was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary but died that evening. He had ambitions to become a special education teacher, the court heard.

Syed Hussain-Kazi denied murdering his housemate but was found guilty by a jury in a week-long trial. “Physically he was no match for you. He was seven stones and you are 12 stones when you pushed him to the door and stabbed him,” Judge John Thackray KC told the court.

“You thought nothing of the unending pain you would cause to the family of Sachin Hawkins. The family of Sachin Hawkins now suffer that pain each day, his life needlessly taken. You initiated trouble by being rude about Sachin Hawkins’s choice of music, making, as you did, a homophobic comment. He responded verbally but with no threat of violence or intimidation whatsoever.”

But “this was not the first time you had brandished a kitchen knife” the judge told Hussain-Kazi. He had previously scared a first-year flatmate when he “started swinging a 30cm knife” in front of her face. “She was so scared of you she had to lock herself in her room and then stay with a friend,” the judge said.

Prosecutors mentioned Hussain-Kazi’s previous convictions for two offences, including a knifepoint street robbery in 2019, in which he was also carrying a kitchen knife.

Syed Hussain-Kazi

Speaking in a victim impact statement, Sachin Hawkins’ mother, Shira Javaid, said she would “never get over how my son was ruthlessly and cruelly murdered” and that there would be “no closure”.

“To this day the defendant has not shown any remorse for what he’s done. He’s not shown any accountability. I want the person who murdered him to take responsibility for what he’s done.”

Sachin’s mother said she was “still numb to the day” she was told about the death of her only son and paid tribute to a “brilliant educator” who had “dreams of being a special education teacher”. She also thanked her son’s other housemates for “everything they did” to help in his final moments.

The University of Hull has said it is “shocked and saddened” by the tragic death describing Sachin Hawkins as as popular and kind. In a statement, the University said: “We are shocked and saddened by the death of one of our students and we offer our deepest condolences to Sachin’s family and friends.

“We are an incredibly close-knit university community and we are supporting those who were close to Sachin, as well as our staff and students at this incredibly difficult time.”

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Featured images via SWNS.