Friday March 29, 2019
Victim Abdi Ali was hit over the head with a hammer and then stabbed in the heart
Gary Hopkins hid the body in his loft. SUPPLIED
A man has been convicted of murder after killing 17-year-old Abdi Ali
at his home in Enfield and then hiding his body in the loft for eight
Gary Hopkins, 37, of Hartmoor Mews, Enfield
, was convicted at the Old Bailey today (Thursday, March 28) after
being found guilty of murder, perverting the course of justice and
preventing the lawful and decent burial of a body.
Sentencing will be at the same court on April 26. His
partner Stacey Docherty, 28, was found not guilty of murder and
manslaughter. The jury reached a hung verdict on charges of perverting
the course of justice and preventing the lawful and decent burial of a
The body was eventually identified as Abdi Ali, 18, of
Ostell Crescent, Enfield, who had been reported missing to police by his
family on December 31, 2017. He was last seen by them on December 11,
2017, at a family wedding.
The discovery of his body at Hopkins' home followed information provided to police by a friend.
information led to officers searching the address and finding Abdi's
body which was wrapped in bedding and hidden in the loft.
The friend told police that on the evening of August 25, 2018, she had gone to visit the flat in Hartmoor Mews.
Body in the attic
was angry with a male who was asleep at his address. He informed the
friend that he intended to rob and kill the man. Hopkins claimed he had
done it before and that the body was in his attic.
a ladder against the wall and encouraged an associate who was also at
the address to look into the loft, encouraging him to touch what he was
The shocked friend would later be told that the body
was an unknown Somali male who was about 18 years old and that he had
been disrespectful whilst in the house. Abdi often stayed at the address
because he was homeless and would sell drugs in return as a mutual
On the day of the murder, just before Christmas,
Abdi was asleep on the sofa. Hopkins hit Abdi with a hammer; the hammer
broke but Abdi was not dead so Hopkins went into the kitchen and got a
knife and stabbed him in the heart.
Abdi was then robbed of cash and drugs before his body was cleaned
up, wrapped in a bed sheet and black bags, and put into the loft.
After hearing this information, the friend attended a Hertfordshire police station on August 27, 2018.
Hopkins and Docherty were arrested at their address that same day after officers acted on the information and found Abdi's body.
account was that two men, known associates who dealt drugs, had been
looking for Abdi on the day he was murdered, they killed him and out of
fear he and Docherty had left with their children, returning home a week
Hopkins continued to stick to his story and attempted to
leave the interview room, becoming abusive towards the interviewing
Another family tragedy
In a victim impact statement, Abdi’s mother, Iisha Abdullahi, said:
"Abdi was a very respectful, helpful son and he was particularly very
close to his grandmother and he used to help her all the time. His
grandmother took his death very badly and died herself soon after.
"It causes me a lot of pain to be the last person to see Abdi before he went missing.
am aware that Abdi had trouble with police before but as a family we
were hoping that he would change since he was still very young however,
he does not have that opportunity now.
"As a mother to lose one
of your children is the hardest thing ever and very painful. It is also
very painful when you are told that your son’s body was found very close
to your home address and you could not help him when he was being
murdered, in the way he was, and when at the same time you used to look
for him in that same area.
"I cried every day when he was missing, people would say to me that
Abdi was maybe dead because he had been missing for so long, but I would
not believe this.
"When I was informed about Abdi’s death, I
fainted because where his body was found was the same area that I used
to pass every day for the eight months that Abdi was missing and it is
very close to my home address. As a family we miss Abdi very much and I
cannot understand why he did what he did to Abdi.
"He had no
reason to hide his body for that long in a loft and not even allow us to
bury him respectfully, which is a very important part of our faith.
"I have not been attending court as I could not bear to listen to
what happened to Abdi but I have asked my daughter Kowsar to attend, and
she told me that the person who was responsible for my son’s death did
not even admit what they did to my son and has not explained why they
killed him, this is very painful as there is no closure for me yet.
and my family fled from Somalia and we came to this country for safety
but what [Hopkins] did to me and to my family and to Abdi is not
something that we can ever forget.
"He broke my heart and this is
not something that I can ever forget or forgive. My son was only 17
years old and he did not give him the chance to lead his life.
"Abdi never harmed anyone and I cannot understand why someone would do such thing to another human being."
DCI Paul Considine added: "I am pleased to have received this verdict
today in what has been a tragic case to investigate. Not only was a
young man brutally murdered, but his body being hidden put Abdi's family
through the anguish of not knowing where he was. Great efforts were
taken to conceal the body and make sure it could not be found.
has been devastating for Abdi's family who were not aware of a lot of
aspects of his life. Hopkins showed a callous disregard for the
consequences of his actions, which were driven by money and drugs.
the friend had not done the right thing and informed police, Abdi's
family would have had to endure even longer than they did without
knowing where he was or what had happened to him."