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Queen Mary University student stabbed to death in East London wanted to become lawyer

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Sami Sidhom was just 18-years-old

Chestnut Avenue in Forest Gate, East London

A Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) law and history student has become the capital’s latest teenage murder victim after he was reportedly ambushed and stabbed on Monday evening.

Sami Sidhom, 18, was attacked in Forest Gate, East London, just before 11pm by multiple men who then fled the scene by car, according to media reports. Sidhom, who was in his first year of his undergraduate degree, is understood to have died at the scene around 30 minutes later. He is the 12th teenager to be murdered in London this year.

One friend, who didn’t wish to be named, revealed how Sidhom harboured ambitions of becoming a lawyer. He told The Telegraph:

“He was very bright. One of the things he wanted to be was a lawyer. He was the kind of friend who would always help you, he was always very supportive.”

Prior to his legal studies, Sidhom attended East Ham’s Newham Collegiate Sixth Form where he achieved high grades in his A-levels. The college hit Legal Cheek headlines last year after its ex-City solicitor headmaster, Mouhssin Ismail, succeeded in sending 95% of his pupils to Russell Group unis.

Ismail reflected on Sidhom’s life: “Sami was a gentle, kind and considerate young man who had a very bright future ahead of him. He was intelligent, dedicated to his studies and a role model in every sense of the word.” The former Norton Rose Fulbright lawyer continued:

“He worked very hard and took full advantage of all the opportunities we offer. He’s been deprived of a life which would have been filled with great success and happiness. Our thoughts and prayers are with his immediate family and close friends who must be devastated by their loss.”

Detective Inspector John Marriott, who is leading the investigation, commented: “We are at the early stages of the investigation and my team retain an open mind as to the motive for Sami’s murder. We are keen to hear from anyone who may have been in the area last night and may have seen or heard anything.”

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30 Comments

Anonymous

I’ve heard before that QMUL’s location was its biggest disadvantage. This seem to confirm it.

Anyone with hands on experience about that?

I may go there for a LLM and use student accommodation that are near Mile End.

Anonymous

For LLM you would be studying at Lincoln’s Inn Fields campus which is in Holborn so I would avoid Mile End if I were you.

Anonymous

Absolute nonsense. Mile End is perfectly fine, day and night, and this is coming from someone who graduated from QMUL years ago when the area was supposedly “dodgy”.

I don’t know much about Forest Gate, but Mile End is miles from it, no pun intended.

Anonymous

Nothing wrong with Mile End – I know of many City based Trainees and lawyers who live in the area , mainly because of the commute

Anonymous

The victim was stabbed close to their home in Forest Gate which is not where QM is based.

As an LLM student you are likely to attend classes at both the Mile End and the Lincoln’s Inn Fields campuses. You’ll be fine.

Tom

I am a Queen Mary student, and I totally disagree. I walk by myself at night all the time with absolutely no problem whatsoever. I also live in Mile End, and I feel equally safe. Crime is high in London no matter where you are, unfortunately.

Mr X

Except that Queen Mary University of London is not in Forest Gate where this happened.

Queen Mary is in Mile End and Lincoln’s Inn Fields (and med and dental school in whitechapel). Get your facts right (and brush up on your geography)

Anonymous

Went to QM for law and now live in shouting distance of it. The area is fine. The park across the canal gets a bit dodgy at night but nothing serious.

Anonymous

Go to UCL instead. Better uni, better law professors, better post code, comparable LLM entry standards.

Anonymous

I don’t really understand this argument. UCL is no doubt superior as a generalist law school, i.e. teaching the traditional law school subjects and some niche areas like M&A. But if you’re doing a generalist LLM, you’re going about things the wrong way.

You should be aiming for a specialised LLM and it is not clear whether UCL and QMUL would be superior without understanding what that poster’s specialism is. It could be arbitration.

Anonymous

Incredible that anyone would rank QM anywhere near UCL (in any discipline).

Anonymous

You clearly don’t know much about either QM or UCL.

LSE grad

I would ignore that muppet if I were you. Just trolling to prove that UCL is better than QMUL in their own childish way. Clearly the topic here is the LLM, in which case we all know that QM is better for IP and Commercial arbitration at this level. In fact QM is one of the best in these areas in the country. UCL at LLM level is better for general corporate subjects, public international law and human rights, and certainly constitutional law (arguably the finest faculty in the country for this subject).

We all know UCL is better for the LLB, but even then the difference these days is not significant to most actual solicitors. If you want to be a commercial barrister, then a first at both is necessary and the BCL.

LSE grad

Most importantly I have to say RIP to the young innocent brilliant young man. The world will miss your talents.

Future trainee at MC

The LLM is a qualification that holds no value with legal recruiters so it makes sense to study it at the Uni with a better specialised course whether that is QMUL or UCL. That’s because the value of the course lies in how it develops you and how much you enjoy it (not what law firms think as they don’t care).

Anonymous

Lol arbitration at QMUL? Alright then. Go to UCL and get arbitration lectures from former UKSC justice The Rt. Hon. Lord Collins. And then go grab coffee in an amazing neighbourhood after said lecture with a significantly reduced risk of being stabbed because west London is best London.

Mr x

You really need to brush up on your knowledge of courses. The Queen Mary Centre for Commercial Law Studies and LLMs undertaken at or in conjunction with the centre, are not merely nationally well regarded but internationally renowned.

The Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS) has 32 full-time academic staff and more than 50 practitioners, judges and visiting academics contributing to the teaching, research and life of the centre.

Geographically the CCLS is based in Lincoln’s Inn Fields (near LSE) so, unless you are suggesting stabbings are a problem in the legal heart of London, which would on your own case about the west end is uncommon, your statement of alleged fact is entirely flawed and is uncorroborated by evidence.

Anonymous

Alright, settle down there and get back to the QMUL admissions office.

Anonymous

You’re a bit slow, aren’t you?

Mr x

Have a life to lead and not glued to LC

Anonymous

Finishing my first year there and I was also concerned about that before enrolling. I can now tell you that there is not really much to worry about. The area is not nice ngl but its not like you are in a ghetto. The uni area is always packed with students so during the day nothing ever happens, during the day its as safe as it gets. At night you might see some dodgy people or drug dealers nearby but usually not too close to uni. The key is to just avoid talking to them and if its really late at night probably not a bad idea to walk with a friend.
In the end, if you just avoid exploring east london at night you should be fine!
Oh and Mile end isnt that bad, AVOID WHITECHAPEL THO!!! Hate that spot

Anonymous

Terribly sad news.

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

Anonymous

Very sad news – this violence needs to stop! Too many young lives being lost and too little being done about it.

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

Anonymous

As a current Queen Mary student who lives in Forest Gate, I do agree that QM’s location is not as safe as other London unis. Yes, 99% of the time you will walk through Mile End with no problem, however it is true that you do have to keep your wits about you – especially after dark. There are groups of people who do roam around, and Mile End Park is best avoided when the sun goes down. As for Forest Gate, I personally chose to move there since it’s quieter and cheaper. I thought it would be safer, and have gone through the year with little problem, but again, there have been a few minor incidents; robberies in shops, people being followed home, open drug dealing. While this doesn’t represent Forest Gate as an area, the murder of Sami (with seemingly no intention) goes to show that no area is safe. Even more so in East London. My thoughts and prayers go out to Sami and his family, and I hope the perpetrators of this horrific murder are caught and imprisoned with lengthy sentences, if not life. RIP Sami x

Anonymous

There seems to be an absence of literary comprehension in some of these posts. The Deceased was from Forest Gate. The fact of his being a QM student is incidental to this story.

Libeturd Leftie

Sincerest condolences to this young man’s family.

Instead of arguing about prestige, perhaps the more humane thing to do would be to recognise the death of a young man who was aspiring to our profession.

God spare us and save us… I do despair sometimes.

Marcus Brutus

SADIQ KHAN 👏👏👏

How do you solve knife crime in London?

Enter Sadiq!

Label stop and search as islamaphobic (whatever that even means) despite it being the best tool that actually tackles illegal weapons in the most dangerous areas of London…then sit back and watch murder rates soar past levels seen in New York City. Oh…then blame knives as the issue and declare the need to “ban knives” rather than confront the cultural, behavioral and societal issues that proliferates this kind of behavior amongst unfortunately mostly ethnic minority youths…of which I am one. This isn’t racist, it’s called statistics. Read the latest Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System 2016 report from the Ministry of Justice.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/669094/statistics_on_race_and_the_criminal_justice_system_2016_v2.pdf

Couldn’t make it up…but he’ll probably win re-election in a few years because his dad was a bus driver right?

Marcus Brutus

1: Carrying a knife is already banned.

2: Politcal correctness costs lives…just ask the young girls that were groomed and killed by gangs of British-Pakistani men in Rotherham, Telford and Rochdale for over 40 years because the police and labour run local councils were afraid of being called racist by confronting the issue.

See: http://www.rotherham.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/1407/independent_inquiry_cse_in_rotherham.pdf

3: I guess Sadiq means well…he’s just trying to help vulnerable people right?

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