Fatemah Golmakani with son Milad, who was killed last year in an attack on a sports pitch
Above, from left, killers Mohammed Hashi, Sean Ferdinand and Sean ‘Jack’ Hutton. A young Milad pictured with his mother with the pigeons in Trafalgar Square
Published: 17 May, 2012
by PAVAN AMARA
THE mother of a young man stabbed to death by a gang plans to sell her diamond earrings and give the money to her son’s killers.
Fatemah Golmakani, 56, said she wants to open a charity, The Milad Trust, in her son’s memory, and to “open his killers’ eyes about the world” when they come out of prison by taking them “on trips to Europe, to eat good food, wear nice clothes, show them what life is really about”.
Ms Golmakani, who lives in Swiss Cottage with Milad’s two brothers and sister, said she plans to visit the killers in prison and “hug them and kiss them and hold their hands, and tell them that someone loves them”.
She told the New Journal that she had reflected on the case after her son’s killers were jailed earlier this month and in the light of the reaction to her first interview in this paper.
Milad died after being stabbed on a sports pitch in West Hampstead in April last year, an Old Bailey trial heard.
The court heard of tensions between two groups of youths and how Milad’s killers had travelled together in a minicab from Gospel Oak in a special mission to carry out the deadly attack.
Ms Golmakani, who came to London from Iran 18 years ago, said she would be selling diamond earrings given to her by her great-great-grandmother, a crystal chandelier that has been in the family for more than 200 years, a 25-year-old crystal chandelier and a watch belonging to her grandmother that Milad “was obsessed with playing with when he was a little boy”.
She said: “What these men didn’t realise was that when they murdered my son, all their hopes and dreams were buried in Milad’s grave with him.
"Because they can’t just go and visit their girlfriends while they’re in prison, they can’t go to a party, see their friends, play games.
"All that went away when they killed my son.
"So really when we buried Milad we buried these murderers too.
“Milad sleeps in peace, but there are four human wishes lying there with him. They weren’t born murderers.
"I have been thinking a lot, and I can’t bring my son back, but I do want to unmask the killers.
"I want to take the mask that makes their faces look like murderers and lift it up and say: ‘No, look, that’s not really you, you have this other face underneath.’
"That way maybe if they are out on the streets eventually, they won’t hurt another mother like this.”
Ms Golmakani, who suffered a suspected heart attack in court while hearing graphic details of how her son was murdered, said she had been through a difficult year in which anger had turned to sadness and now, finally, to forgiveness.
“I used to think it was an eye for an eye, but now I realise that makes the whole world blind,” she said.
“I want to replace their knives and guns with flowers. I want to bring their humanity back even if my son’s gone.
"They have killed themselves with their hands, and all I want to say to them in prison is: ‘Young boy, I am so sorry for you, look what you have done to us all.’
"If I slap them in the face they will want to slap me back, but why would I want to do that?”
The four defendants in the case were 19-year-olds Sean “Jack” Hutton, of Kentish Town, Sean Ferdinand, from Chalk Farm, Mohammed Hashi, from Enfield, and 17-year-old Lij McSween, from Maitland Park.
All were defended by leading criminal legal teams, and they strenuously denied any participation.
McSween, described in court as “a youth with attitude”, is serving a minimum 19 years, while the other three were jailed for 22 years.
Ms Golmakani said: “I have thought that these boys... were the boys who had no presents as children, they are the boys who have no money for the bus so they try and get on without the driver seeing, they’re the boys who everyone gave up on in school and now they sell drugs for how much? Under £200 a week maybe?
“Then they went home and had problems there. All they know is the estate and the street.
"What do I want to slap their faces for? It’s what they’ve had their whole lives and that’s why they slap back, and they kill.
"Maybe if I hug or kiss, it will wake them up? How else do you make a noise that the humans inside the murderers will hear, and finally come out?”
Ms Golmakani says her material belongings no longer matter to her, but “doing what I can after Milad’s death makes my heart feel comfortable once more”.
She says money raised for the charity will enable her to run a safe space in Camden Town, which will support pupils who fall behind in school, providing internet facilities and careers advisors to help them get jobs.
“It will campaign for businesses in Camden to employ young people in the borough, or at least give them work experience so they know they are able to fit into a work environment,” she said.
“I’ll make links with those businesses.
“I want to have speakers give inspirational talks to people who have come from poor backgrounds but who have made something of their lives.
"There are many people like that, and these children must see that.
"They need to be inspired by strength, and see themselves as heroes not villains, by seeing and meeting other heroes, not other villains.
“You see so many children in Camden Town sitting outside the pubs, on the street, in big groups just drinking, selling drugs.
"I can’t see it anymore because now I know if that culture wasn’t there Milad would be here.”
Milad, who himself had a street nickname and was known as “Dirty”, died from 14 stab wounds.
A younger friend survived the ambush.
Milad’s mother added: “If they all had jobs, Milad would have been at work, not playing games.
"Those boys would have been at work, and then by the time they were back their minds and bodies would be too tired to kill.
“This charity will be a present to the killers.
"It will say to them: ‘Hey, you’ve ruined your lives, and mine and my sons’, but if nothing else here’s this to help others like you, and to help you.
“I don’t want to look down on them.
"I want to help them look for jobs, and I want to make dinner for them like their own mothers should have done.
"Maybe then they’ll go back home and teach their own parents what they should have been taught years ago.”
FATEMAH Golmakani said the reaction to her son’s death and coverage in the press had made her worry about the level of racism in London, writes Pavan Amara.
She said she was upset by website comments left alongside newspaper coverage of the case.
She said: “It seems if you don’t have blonde hair and blue eyes, it is okay to hate you, even if you have just lost your son.”
The comments related to Ms Golmakani being an immigrant to the UK, and to her Iranian ethnicity.
“It is sick, it shows the sickness in the minds of some people in this country,” she said.
“Do some people think if you have white skin you hurt for your son more? I pay tax in this country and I have a British passport, but I’m still not equal.
“Do people really think I don’t cry when I read those comments, or hurt for my son every night? Can I not talk about my son from the heart without being a target because of my race?
“People say racism’s fading. It’s not. Beneath the smiles it’s still there. It’s not fashionable, so they hide behind their keyboards, and they think it rather than say it openly.
“Even in most newspapers they will show it as black-on-black crime, or young boys from minorities killing each other.
"They’re not human beings to them. The same doesn’t happen when it’s white boys doing the killing and being killed.”
She added: “The police and victim support have on the whole been excellent, but would it have been easier for me to get through this if I was English?
“I think yes, without a doubt.
“Firstly, people would have seen me as a mother who had lost her son, and not as a woman with brown skin and black hair.”