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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 December, 2004, 15:47 GMT
Alcohol thieves murder shopkeeper
Mahmut Fahri
Mr Fahri was described as "generous" and "helpful" by friends
A shopkeeper has been murdered as he tried to stop thieves stealing two bottles of alcohol.

Mahmut Fahri, 59, was stabbed in the chest as two men tried to take bottles from behind the counter of the Albion store in Wood Green, north London.

He ran after them then stumbled into a nearby minicab office, in Whittington Road, at about 9.15pm on Tuesday.

The grandfather-of-three was taken to North Middlesex Hospital by ambulance but died early on Wednesday.

Mr Fahri saw the men, one aged 35 and the other in his 20s, lurking at the back of his shop before the older man grabbed at the two bottles of spirits.

Whoever has done this has ripped the heart out of a community
Friend Vivian Muirhead

He was stabbed repeatedly as he tried to stop the thieves, who were of Asian or Turkish appearance, before they ran off with the alcohol.

Wayne Denton, 30, a mini-cab driver, was in the Cavendish Radio Cars office when Mr Fahri came in after being attacked.

He said: "He was crying out for somebody to help him and to phone the police.

Map graphic

"He said he had been attacked by two men and he was complaining about his eyes because they had sprayed him.

Mr Denton said he took Mr Fahri back to the shop to wash his eyes out while he waited for the ambulance and his wife to arrive.

He said he was "shocked" the shopkeeper had died because he was conscious before going to hospital.

'Shocking death'

Local people described Mr Fahri as "generous" and "helpful".

Friend Vivian Muirhead, 59, said: "I'm in absolute shock. He worked so hard in his shop and I just can't believe this is real.

"Whoever has done this has ripped the heart out of a community."

Det Ch Insp Dick Langley, leading the murder investigation, said: "It is shocking to think a man has died over the theft of two bottles of alcohol."

A post-mortem examination is due to take place on Wednesday afternoon.

No murder weapon has been found.

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