Rapper Sentenced to Life in Prison After Stabbing Conviction

A U.K. rapper was sentenced to life in prison last week for the murder of a teenager. Abdirahaman Yussuf, 20, was found guilty of stabbing Yahya Sharif, 18, after a trial in December at Birmingham Crown Court, a year after the murder. Prosecutors told the court that police found lyrics to a song Yussuf wrote, boasting about Sharif's death. Yussuf was sentenced to life in prison and must serve no less than 22 years.

The victim got out of a BMW in Small Heath, Birmingham on Dec. 10, 2021, prosecutors told the court. Within seconds, Yussuf stabbed Sharif in his chest, using a large knife, prosecutors said, reports BirminghamLive. The victim tried to escape the scene but later died of his injuries.

When Yussuf was arrested in London, officers found an envelope with handwritten lyrics prosecutors said were about the murder. The lyrics included the words "ching" and "flash," slang words for stabbings. West Midland Police discovered the murder weapon and trashed clothing in a street nearby the stabbing, reports BBC News.

"I still don't know why my son was killed. Saying sorry will not bring my child back. I can never move on, my life is destroyed," Sharif's mother said in a statement during the sentencing hearing. "My son should still be alive and I miss him every single day. Yahya meant the world to me and I dreamed of seeing him getting married and meeting my future grandchildren. All of this has been taken away from me and his brothers and sisters."

Sharif's father added that he feels "pain" each time he sees boys the same age as his son "going out, driving a car, going to school, working, talking about university and walking with their fathers." Sharif was a "bright boy with a great future ahead of him," his father said.

Yussuf's defense attorney, Isah Peart KC, insisted the murder was "not premeditated," but happened "on the spur of the moment," notes BirminghamLive. "It was committed in public and there was an attempt to dispose of the knife. He had just turned 19 at the time of the events. He has been in the country since he was three," Peart said, later claiming Yussif was "on the verge of signing a contract with Sony."

During the trial, Yussuf claimed self-defense, but the judge and jury rejected this. "It is clear he presented no threat. He was walking to where he was going," the judge said during the sentencing. However, since Yussuf had no prior convictions and was not known to be involved in gangs, the judge reduced the minimum term to 22 years.