November 2017

Mugshot of man found guilty of murdering his two young kids

This is the horrifying mugshot of an Uber driver who has been found guilty of murdering his two young kids with a petrol-soaked cloth before trying to kill himself in a car blaze.

Endris Mohammed, 47, was convicted of the murders of eight-year-old Saros Endris and his sister Leanor, six, at Birmingham Crown Court this morning.

He was also found guilty of trying to kill his wife, Penil Teklehaimanot, who was sleeping upstairs when he smothered their children at the family home.

Jurors heard Mohammed attempted to murder Ms Teklehaimanot by tampering with a gas pipe and setting fire to the property in Hamstead, Birmingham.

He then fled in his Uber taxi and drove 40 miles before trying to kill himself by setting the Vauxhall Insignia alight, an earlier court hearing was told.
He survived with severe burns to his face.

In Mohammed’s mugshot, released by police today, he can be seen with melted skin on his face and neck. He also appears to be dressed in a green hospital gown.

The taxi driver had denied the murders of little Saros and Leanor, claiming diminished responsibility allegedly caused by a depressive disorder.

A two-week trial was told Ms Teklehaimanot was sleeping upstairs when her husband smothered their two children during a downstairs half-term “sleepover”.

Emergency crews rushed to the couple’s home in Great Barr following a blaze at around 3.30am on October 28 last year. The court heard Mrs Teklehaimanot was awoken by a smoke alarm in the early hours of the morning.

In her evidence to the jury, she previously said: “I came downstairs and on the stairs I saw a fire in the front door. When I saw the fire I was scared and screamed.”

She described how she carried the lifeless bodies of the children out of the house with the help of a neighbour after finding them in the lounge.

Mrs Teklehaimanot added: “I tried to wake them (the children) up.

“Leanor was sleeping on her tummy. They didn’t respond to me so I took Saros up and the lady took Leanor up.”

The youngsters were rushed to hospital, but they were pronounced dead shortly after arrival. Their mum, meanwhile, was treated for minor injuries.

The trial was told Mohammed appeared normal in the run-up to the deaths.

Mrs Teklehaimanot told the court he was “a gentle, quiet man” who had not seemed angry or irritable in the months before her children were killed.

Mohammed, who suffered burns to his head after setting the passenger side of his cab alight on the night of the killings, admitted smothering the kids.

He did not give evidence during his defence case but argued through his legal team that he was depressed about his future amid money worries.

He fled in his Uber cab after killing Saros and Leanor at their home in Holland Road, having bought a fuel can and three litres of petrol the previous day.

He headed up the M6 motorway before he attempted to take his own life in a car fire in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, the court was told.

However, after passersby spotted the burning vehicle and called the emergency services, Mohammed was taken to hospital with severe burns to his face and arms.

In police interview, he claimed that he had purchased the petrol with the intention to kill himself and thought “today would be a nice day to die”, jurors heard.

Mohammed, who is now facing life behind bars, met his wife in 2006 in Kent, after they came to Britain from East Africa as asylum seekers.

He claimed he had decided to end his own life because his “hopes for a good life in England” had failed, but police inquiries showed the family could live off his wife’s earnings as a care worker, jurors were told.

He was today found guilty of two counts of murder and one of attempted murder.

The taxi driver pursed his lips but showed no other sign of emotion as he was found guilty just 30 minutes after the jury retired.

Addressing the jurors after the verdicts, trial judge Mr Justice Gilbart told them:

“You’ve just dealt with a very important case.

“It’s an important public service.

“You’ve earned the thanks of the public for the vital work you’ve done.”

Inviting members of the panel to return to court next week to see sentence passed, the judge added: “There is some law to consider, especially in a case in which two children have died. I want to hear submissions from counsel and they should be considered submissions.”

Mohammed will be sentenced on Monday.