SYDNEY teenager Mahmoud Hrouk was supposed to have dinner with his extended family but he begged his father to let him ride his bicycle to McDonald’s so he could have a burger with his friend.
The 16-year-old cycled from his East Fairfield home to the fast food restaurant a few kilometres away. One of the last times he was seen alive was when he went through the drive-through in a ute with Aymen Terkmani at 6.30pm on May 16.
The next morning the bloodied body of Mahmoud - an aspiring young football player - was found on the floor of a vacant house on Belmore Street, East Fairfield.
When Mahmoud’s parents first begged Terkmani to tell them where their son was he denied even knowing him.
But today, a jury found Terkmani, 27, guilty of the bashing and strangling murder of Mahmoud, one of the most horrific and violent crimes homicide detectives have ever encountered. Terkmani was also found guilty of sexual assault.
After the foreman read the verdict, Mahmoud’s mother Maha Dunia cried and shut her eyes and she clenched the hand of the homicide detective who has been in charge of the investigation.
Terkmani showed no apparent emotion and bowed his head after sitting down.
Unless he admits it, no one will ever truly know why Terkmani bashed the teen to death with a rolling pin and toaster and sexually assaulted him.
Afterwards he took Mahmoud’s Nike shoes, pants and iPhone - which were found dumped in a drain not far from the house.
It took two days for the jury to return the guilty verdict following a three-week trial in the NSW Supreme Court.
During the trial the jury heard how Terkmani was the last person to see Mahmoud alive and his DNA was found on the toaster and rolling pin found at the murder scene.
Police also retrieved a bloodstained five-dollar note from Terkmani’s bum bag at his house which the Crown said had Mahmoud’s DNA on it.
The court also heard of how Terkmani had used the vacant Department of Housing home to smoke cannabis, host gatherings and entertain escorts.
Mahmoud’s mother gave evidence at the trial and told the jury of how her son had told her he was with a friend called Aymen when his phone cut out at 9.42pm and she never heard from him again.
“It’s OK, Mum, I’m with my friend … I’ve got my bike … I will come home,” Mahmoud replied.
On the first day of his trial a jury was told of how Terkmani and Mahmoud had made phone contact throughout the day before the pair decided to meet at Villawood McDonald’s just after 6pm.
In his opening address, Crown prosecutor Adrian Robertson said the teenager had spent the day working with his uncle and had asked permission from his father to ride his bicycle to get dinner.
There was CCTV footage which showed Mahmoud and the accused sitting in a ute at the fast food restaurant at 6.22pm.
The Crown case also relied on evidence which would show Terkmani was the last person seen with the boy about 7.30pm on the night of his death. Mr Robertson said the teenager’s bicycle had been seen at one point outside Terkmani’s Mitchell Street house in East Fairfield.
After Mahmoud’s phone call ended abruptly with his mother at 9.42pm and he was not contactable, his family walked the streets and doorknocked a number of houses in the area.
One of the houses was the family home of Terkmani, who came outside with his father about 4.30am on May 17.
Terkmani told Mahmoud’s father that he had last seen him at a friend’s house nearby.
“On the Crown case this was a lie told with the consciousness of guilt of him having killed the deceased.”
Defence barrister Mark Austin said Terkmani’s father had told police his son was at home at the time of the alleged murder.
“In this case, the position of this accused will be, ‘I had nothing to do with this killing and for this death. I wasn’t an individual who committed these acts’,” he said.
The jury heard that Mahmoud was found by family members, naked from the waist down inside a Belmore Street house.
Police found his satchel nearby which contained his asthma puffer, a silver chain and $54 in cash.
A tearful Maha Dunia thanked all involved for all they did to convict her son’s killer - taking time to hug each of the lawyers and police involved.
“I would like to thank the DPP, the police the government, the legal system. Thank you very much to everyone and thanks to the jury, the took the right decision thanks to everyone,” she told media outside the courthouse.