‘Horror-film’ revenge of killers angered by banging fridge door

TWO men who killed a high-flying student in a scene reminiscent of a horror film have been jailed for life.

Reaben Kareem, 21 and Jwanru Osman, 21 subjected Bradford University student and aspiring rugby player Tony Ho to a horrific six-hour attack before leaving him for dead.

The Recorder of Bradford Judge James Stewart QC sentenced Kareem and Osman to minimum terms of 30 years and 25 years respectively for the crime.

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They will also serve concurrent 10 year sentences for wounding both Mr Ho’s sister, Sally, and another student Gavin Stolarczyk, on the same day.

The attacks took place at Mr Ho’s student accommodation in Grantham Road, Great Horton, Bradford, on January 22 last year.

The two men have been behind bars since they separately handed themselves in to police shortly after their crimes and their convictions follow a retrial after the original trial last summer had to be abandoned when Judge Stewart was taken ill

Miss Ho, a pharmacy student, and Mr Stolarczyk, studying law, described how Kareem and Osman in broad daylight tricked their way into their house armed with a knife and a wheel brace.

Miss Ho was lured into the cellar sitting room whereupon Kareem smashed a bottle on her head. Osman covered her mouth to muffle her screams and both men bundled her into a dark boiler room where she was bound and gagged.

Kareem then knifed Mr Stolarczyk in the side before he too was bound with electrical cable and gagged with tape.

Mr Ho, 19, was then stabbed in the hallway, forced into Miss Ho’s bedroom and tortured to reveal his bank account details.

His sister found his body on her blood-soaked bed after the robbers fled six hours later, carrying their spoils in suitcases.

Mr Ho had been stabbed 13 times and his throat cut. A wire was wrapped round his neck.

Sentencing yesterday, the judge said: “Tony Ho was a successful chemistry student and a gifted rugby player. The two of you took it upon yourselves to react to a perceived grievance your (Kareem’s), girlfriend had with Sally and Gavin.

“The perceived grievance was paltry, if not imaginary, the principal one being that Sally and Gavin had repeatedly slammed the fridge door.

“The irony is that you, Kareem, didn’t hold Tony Ho responsible for any of the perceived grievances which normal students would sort out over a beer.

“You thought you could kill two birds with one stone so by teaching them a lesson and robbing them because they were from a wealthy family in Hong Kong, to get yourself out of gambling debts and having stolen money from your father.

“Osman, you insulted the intelligence of the jury by suggesting that Kareem would take somebody with him who knew nothing about what was going to happen.”

Following the verdict Kareem, of Walsall, West Midlands, sat with his head in his hands while Osman, of Northolt, Middlesex, stared straight ahead.

After the case, the Ho family said in a statement: “Those people who have known Tony would know that he was a helpful person with a calm and gentle personality. When he went home to Hong Kong during holidays he always did a lot of charity work, visited the poor and taught children how to play rugby.

“Tony excelled in his studies and achieved distinction grades in his university exams. Rugby was his passion and, even though he was in Hong Kong for less than six months a year, his dedication and drive earned him a place to represent the Hong Kong Under-20s in the rugby championship, which they won.

“His death was devastating not only to his family, but also to his team mates, friends, colleagues, teachers and lecturers. A young life with a bright future should not have been taken this way.

“Although these men have now been found guilty of Tony’s murder, we do not feel hatred towards them. However, we will never understand why they felt the need to take him away from us – a loving and remarkable son and brother, he will remain in our hearts forever.”

Det Supt Dick Nuttall, added: “This was a particularly callous crime, essentially motivated by greed that involved pointless and unnecessary violence.”