Teen murderer who bought 79 blades online named

Custody image of Rayis Nibeel
Rayis Nibeel, 17, can now be named after a judge lifted an anonymity order [Bedfordshire Police]

A High Court judge has ruled that the public should be told the name of a teenage drug dealer who bought 79 knives, swords and machetes in the months before stabbing a man to death.

Mrs Justice Foster has lifted an order which had prevented journalists revealing the identity of 17-year-old Rayis Nibeel, who has been convicted of murdering 38-year-old Omar Khan in Luton.

An order had been made under legislation aimed at protecting children and teenagers involved in court cases.

But the judge has lifted the order after the BBC argued that revealing Nibeel’s name was in the public interest.

Custody photo of Umer Choudhury
Umer Choudhury, 18, was also convicted of murder [Bedfordshire Police]

Jurors had earlier this year found Nibeel and another teenager, 18-year-old Umer Choudhury, guilty of murdering Mr Khan, who was attacked with a 15in (37.5cm) hunting knife.

They had heard how Mr Khan, of Leicester Road, Luton, had died at the scene of the attack in the Sundon Park area of Luton on 16 September 2023, after a row over drugs.

Mrs Justice Foster jailed both teenagers on Friday during a sentencing hearing at St Albans Crown Court.

She said Nibeel, of Butely Road, Luton, would serve a minimum of 20 years in custody and Choudhury, of Tulip Close, Luton, a minimum of 18 years.

A 15in (37.5cm) hunting knife next to a black sheath
The model of knife used to kill Omar Khan, next to the sheath found at the scene. It was described as an "interesting collector's piece that isn't afraid of heavy use" by online retailer DNA Leisure [CPS]

Detectives said Nibeel had bought 79 bladed items, including the murder weapon, in the months leading up to the attack on Mr Khan.

Police said he had used his mother's ID to buy 39 hunting knives, 15 machetes and 12 swords, among other items, and get them delivered to his home.

All were bought from an online retailer, linked to another murder in 2022.

The company, DNA Leisure, sold knives due to be outlawed later this year.

Based on the outskirts of Luton, just six miles (10km) from the murder scene, it is run by one-time Junior Apprentice candidate Adam Eliaz, who insisted he had done nothing wrong.

In a statement, DNA Leisure said it complied "with all current UK legislation relating to the sales of bladed articles, including the laws relating to remote sales and age verification".

The judge heard Nibeel had been 16 and Choudhury 17, when Mr Khan was killed.

Orders had earlier been made preventing journalists from naming either teenager.

But a BBC journalist argued at Friday’s sentencing hearing that both orders should be lifted because the public had a right to know their names.

Mrs Justice Foster ruled that Choudhury could be named because he was now 18 and an adult.

Lawyers representing Choudhury had not objected to the order preserving his anonymity being lifted.

An alley way leading away from a parade of shops in Sundon Park, Luton
Nibeel attacked Mr Khan near an alleyway in the Sundon Park area of Luton [Ben Schofield/BBC]

Lawyers representing Nibeel had objected to him being named.

They argued that he should remain anonymous because he had yet to turn 18.

Mrs Justice Foster said on Friday that she wanted time to think about competing arguments relating to the naming of Nibeel.

The judge announced her decision on Monday – in a ruling posted on the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website – and concluded that Nibeel should be named.

She said: "I am of the clear view that on all the facts of this case it is appropriate to regard the public interest in open justice as requiring the publication of [Rayis Nibeel’s] name."

How the legal challenge was made

  • Mrs Justice Foster lifted orders imposed under section 45 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999

  • The legislation aims to protect children and teenagers involved in criminal proceedings

  • The BBC argued that, given the subject matter of the case, there was a public interest in reporting the names of the defendants

  • A journalist argued that reporting would "enable public debate" – and debate might produce solutions to the problems "reflected in the case"

  • Naming the defendants might prevent future crime and save lives, the BBC argued

  • A barrister representing Nibeel argued his client should not be named

  • Joe Stone KC said the "default position" was that people of Nibeel’s age who were convicted of murder were not named for "good policy reasons"

  • He pointed to the "danger of retribution and revenge attacks"

  • Mr Stone said there was "no good reason" why the story could not be "fully reported" without Nibeel’s name being revealed

  • Mrs Justice Foster ruled in favour of the BBC

  • She said: "I am of the clear view that on all the facts of this case it is appropriate to regard the public interest in open justice as requiring the publication of [Nibeel's] name"

  • The judge added: "In this case there is a powerful reason as expressed by [the BBC] for saying the public interest of those who have knowledge to contribute to the public debate on the scourge of street drugs and knife violence on the streets of Luton significantly outweighs those rights, and supports the drive to public justice"

  • Mrs Justice Foster outlined the reasoning behind her decision in a ruling published on the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website

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