A 21-year-old man from Enfield has been found guilty of attempted murder and arson with intent to endanger life.

Ashan Mahmudd met his victim, a 42-year-old gay man, through the social networking site Gumtree.

He agreed to go to the man’s flat in Streatham on March 1st, where had sex with his victim before stabbing him repeatedly, stealing his credit cards, phone and laptop and setting fire to the premises.

Mahmudd will be sentenced at a later hearing.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of theft and one of reckless arson and not guilty to attempted murder and arson with intent to endanger life when he appeared for trial on November 12th.

His victim, who has not been named, managed to call emergency services.

A police officer arrived and saw smoke coming from the letterbox and pushed in the door to gain entry. He was quickly overcome by smoke and had to be rescued along with the victim.

Both the officer and the victim were taken to hospital. The officer was released after being treated for smoke inhalation.

The victim received treatment for stab wounds to his chest, stomach, legs and back as well as smoke inhalation. His liver was damaged during the attack but he is now said to have made a full recovery.

Mahmuud was arrested on March 12th. He gave himself up through a solicitor after his address in Enfield was searched.

DI Andy Rees of Lambeth CID said today: “I would like to commend the victim for the courage he has demonstrated throughout this difficult and traumatic case.

“I would also like to assure vulnerable sections of the community that they will be treated with dignity by the Metropolitan Police Service.

“We will do everything possible to support them and ensure that they have the freedom to live their lives without fear.”

Eren Bessim, LGBT and Hate Crime Coordinator for Lambeth, praised the police investigation and said this case “shows the dangers of meeting people online,” and urged people to take extra care when meeting off the internet.

Eren can be contacted on 07824 474 003 or 0208 649 2654 or at Cavindish Police Station in Clapham.