The former mayor of Hounslow signed a £22,500 surety to allow a teenager who stabbed his sister’s tenant to death to be granted bail, we can reveal.

Councillor Genevieve Hibbs was so convinced Jahangir Hussain, 19, was innocent she drove to pick him up from Feltham Young Offenders’ Institution (FYOI) before enjoying a celebratory meal after bail was granted.

The former mayor’s support for Mr Hussain can be reported for the first time after the teenager, of College Road, Isleworth, walked free from the Old Bailey, where a jury cleared him of murdering Robert Venenavuci, 27, on Wednesday. The Hounslow and Brentford Times took the decision not to reveal the former mayor’s support for fear of prejudicing the trial.

Coun Hibbs, who Mr Hussain described as a “special lady” for supporting him throughout the ordeal, said she was “delighted” with the verdict and the cleared student has spoken of his relief.

Mr Hussain, who was also acquitted of manslaughter, admitted stabbing Mr Venenavuci in the heart and stomach with an eight-inch kitchen knife - but insisted he was forced to lash out in lawful self-defence, during a fight in a flat, in Wood Lane, Isleworth.

Coun Hibbs has known Mr Hussain’s sisters since 2004 when she stepped in to help with a dispute with neighbours in Weavers Close, Isleworth.

She said she was “shocked” to recieve a phone call telling her of the stabbing last October and said she was convinced of Mr Hussain’s innocence.

She said: “He was in Feltham (FYOI) for weeks or months and there appeared to be no end to it. The guy was wanting to do his A-levels and of course there wasn’t any way for him to carry on doing his A-levels.

“Since he has come out he has got employment and is continuing his studies.”

The Isleworth councillor, who ended her term as mayor in May this year, would have been forced to forfeit £22,500 if the teenager had jumped bail, and would have faced jail if she was unable to find the money.

She said before the start of his week-long trial: "I believed and still believe that the guarantee that I offered for his bail was safe. I trust Jahangir to keep his bail conditions.”

Police arrested Mr Hussain after officers arrived at the Wood Lane flat on October 4 last year to find Fijian-born Mr Venenavuci lying in a pool of blood. He later appeared in court charged with murder and was remanded in custody at FYOI until he was granted bail.

Mr Hussain, who has been working at West Middlesex Hospital, claimed he knifed Mr Venenavuci during a heated row because he feared he would attack his older sister Halima Khatun.

The jury heard Mr Venenavuci and his girlfriend Durgha Kallati had moved into Miss Khatun's flat less than two weeks before the stabbing, and within a few days the landlady complained to the couple about “the way the flat was being cared for”.

Mr Venenavuci had drunk almost a bottle of vodka in his bedroom on the night of his death. He walked into the lounge at around 10pm and began being abusive to Mr Hussain and his sister as they sat on the sofa, the court heard.

Mr Hussain claimed the victim punched him and made a grab for a knife in the kitchen, but he got to the blade first.

He said he lashed out once as Mr Venenavuci tried to strangle his sister. Pathologists later discovered stab wounds to the victim’s heart, the side of his stomach and the top of his left arm.

"My ordeal" - student speaks out

Jahangir Hussain has spoken of the trauma the ordeal caused him and his family.

Mr Hussain, 19, who was in his second year of studying for four A-levels when he was arrested, described his ordeal as “traumatising” and said it had affected his whole life, including his education and plans to go to university. He also thanked former mayor Genevieve Hibbs for her support.

He said: “Without the help of that special lady I might not have been here right now, she has been important to me and my family in giving her time and support. I hope that there are more people like her out there and I want to thank her.”

Mr Hussain has now enrolled back at college and plans to complete his A-levels before heading to university. He also hopes to travel to Ethiopia to carry out some charity work, he said.

After his arrest, he told police he lashed out at Mr Venenavuci because he was scared he would kill his sister.

He told officers in interview: "He was standing around being rude and asking stupid questions.

"He was pointing to me saying: 'Who's he? What's he doing there?'

"It looked like he was poking her [my sister]. He kept on asking: 'Who's this? Who's this?'"

He said Mr Venenavuci appeared drunk, and spoke so close to his sister's face that he was spitting on her. The two siblings went to the kitchen to wash up but were followed by the victim.

Mr Hussain said: "He made a swing at my face and hit me there. I staggered back. He grabbed my sister around the neck.

"He was throwing punches at me.

"He said something like 'knife', then he started to move towards the kitchen knife.

"As I was closer I just grabbed it straight away.

"I tried to punch him but it was the knife that hit him on the face.

"I said to him: 'Let go, get out', and not to hurt my sister, and all this time we were shouting: 'Call police, call police', to my niece.

"We shouted really loud: ‘Help us, help us’.

"He was throwing punches at me, hitting me in the chest.

"And then I lunged forward a few times.

"He fell to the floor. I just dropped the knife."

Hussain said he heard his sister shouting: "He's going to kill us."

He added that when he first saw Mr Venenavuci that night, he did not know who he was and had no idea he was his sister’s tenant.

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