Aya Hachem: seven men jailed for life for murdering law student, 19, in botched drive-by assassination
Seven men have been jailed for life for the murder of a law student who was mistakenly killed in a botched drive-by shooting.
Tyre firm boss Feroz Suleman, 40, arranged the execution of a rival businessman in broad daylight but the gunman he hired instead shot dead innocent passer-by Aya Hachem.
At a glance: 5 key points
- Miss Hachem, 19, who dreamed of becoming a solicitor and fled from violence in her native Lebanon as a child, was shot dead in King Street, Blackburn, on May 17 last year while on a trip to a nearby supermarket to buy food.
- She died in hospital after a bullet entered her left shoulder, passed through her body and embedded itself in a telegraph pole.
- The intended target was Pachah Khan, 31, owner of Quickshine Car Wash, who angered Suleman, boss of neighbouring RI Tyres, when they began to sell tyres and became direct competition.
- A bitter feud developed and Suleman ordered the execution of Mr Khan, telling his trusted ally Ayaz Hussain, 36, to recruit an assassin.
- Manchester-based hitman Zamir Raja, 33, and his driver Anthony Ennis, 31, were assigned the task.
What’s been said
Sentencing, Mr Justice Turner told Suleman: “You were the driving force behind the whole deadly enterprise from beginning to end and followed through this plan with obsessive determination.
“When you were in prison you commented to Abubakr Satia you were the captain of the ship and if you were to go down then everyone would down with you. How right you were.”
Abubabkr Satia sourced a silver Toyota Avensis for just £300, financed by his friend Suleman, which was used by Raja and Ennis on the day of the shooting.
Judy Chapman, 26, who was convicted of manslaughter for her involvement, drove the gunman and driver from Bolton with her boyfriend, Uthman Satia, as front-seat passenger. She then collected the pair after the shooting.
Manzoor ensured the unreliable Avensis was able to be used after he jump-started the vehicle and left the engine running.
Suleman, of Shear Brow, Blackburn, was ordered to serve a minimum of 34 years before he can be considered for parole.
The gunman, Zamir Raja, 33, of Davyhulme Road, Stretford, was jailed for a minimum of 34 years and his driver, Anthony Ennis, 31, of Grasmere Court, Partington, must serve at least 33 years.
Fellow accomplices Ayaz Hussain, 36, of Calgary Avenue, Blackburn; Abubakr Satia, 32, of Oxford Close, Blackburn; his brother, Uthman Satia, 29, of St Hubert’s Road, Great Harwood, and Kashif Manzoor, 26, of Shakeshaft Street, Blackburn were handed minimum terms of 32 years, 28 years, 28 years, and 27 years, respectively.
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