Unsolved Murders

Harun Jama

Age: 16

Sex: male

Date: 3 Jan 2018

Place: Friars Wharf, Oxford, Oxfordshire

Harun Jama was stabbed near a children's playground underneath a bridge in Friars Wharf on 3 January 2018.

He was attacked on the towpath between Folly Bridge and the old gasworks bridge near to a Pembroke College accommodation building. He was taken to John Radcliffe Hospital where he later died at 9pm.

He had been stabbed during an altercation. He had been stabbed in the abdomen, leg and chest with each of the wounds possibly being fatal.

He was found by a group of runners who called the emergency services at about 7.50pm.

A person that saw the incident shortly after said, 'I was cycling up the ramp when I saw a head. A couple of runners were down there on the path. There was a lot of blood, right along the path, and his eyes were rolled back. I think he was dead then. I know that there was no pulse'.

It was thought that he might have fired a gun shortly before his murder at about 7.45pm. It was reported that a man heard a bang or a pop in Friars Wharf at that time and then saw Harun Jama running away from a man riding a bike. Harun Jama was later found to have had gunshot residue on his right hand. However, no gun was ever found. It was said that he had either fired the gun himself or had been in close proximity to it when it was fired.

It was thought that the man on the bike had then attacked Harun Jama although eyewitnesses’ said that they thought that he was only punching Harun Jama.

Two people from Oxford were arrested shortly after his murder on 8 January 2018 but later released. One of the people arrested was a 33-year-old man from Luther Street. He was charged with murder, robbery, possession of a bladed article and two counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs. The other person arrested was a 25-year-old woman who was charged with two counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs.

A 34-year-old man was later arrested in Liverpool on suspicion of his murder on 7 September 2019 but he was later released with no further action against him due to lack of evidence. The police said that following a review of the evidence by the Crown Prosecution Service, the decision was made to release the man and a file prepared for the coroner.

However, the 34-year-old man was also arrested on drugs offences.

It is not known whether the 34-year-old man was the same person as the person that was arrested the year earlier.

His inquest in November 2021 concluded that he had been killed unlawfully.

Harun Jama had been travelling to Oxford from Sparkhill in Birmingham to sell drugs. He had started in 2017 and was arrested in December 2017 after being caught with Class A drugs.

It was heard that the loss of the drugs was something that he had to repay and he was later sent back to Oxford three or four times a week to repay the debt.

The police said that during their year long investigation into Harun Jama's murder that they took:

  • 700 statements.
  • Seized 1,100 items.
  • Took CCTV from 90 buses.
  • Recovered large volumes of mobile data.

The police said that they thought that there could be several people who witnessed thre murder that  had not yet come forward. They said, 'It is vital we speak to anybody who was in the vicinity of Friar’s Wharf at the time of his death, especially if they were in the towpath area between Folly Bridge and the black and white old gasworks bridge between 7pm and 8pm'.

The scene of the murder was across the river from the Pembroke College’s Sir Geoffrey Arthur Building and following the murder Students in the college were told to 'take care'. It was reported that a spokesperson for Pembroke College had said, 'Following the tragic incident at Friars Wharf last week we have taken the opportunity to remind all students who live in the Geoffrey Arthur Building to take care in the area, especially after dark. We continue to encourage Pembroke students to take sensible measures to protect their personal safety, including travelling in groups where possible and using well-lit streets in the local area as a preferred route'.

Following Harun Jama's death a page was set up on the JustGiving website to raise money to build two wells in Ghana in his name, Sadaqah Jaariyah. The funds were raised through a Muslim aid charity and raised £350 with a target of £2,000. Another web site, the Gofundme site, was set up to raise money for his funeral, with £950 being raised with a target of £5,000.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.