Dad helped his two sons try and flee UK - just hours after they murdered rival in revenge stabbing

Farooq Ishaq Ahmed tried to get his sons to a ferry port in the hours after the murder.

Farooq Ishaq Ahmed (right) was jailed for helping his sons Kearon Barker (bottom left) and Omar Ishaq (bottom centre) to try to flee the country after they murdered Keith Harrower (top left) (Photo: West Yorkshire Police)

A dad who tried to help his two sons flee the country after they murdered a man in a street stabbing in Leeds has been sent to prison.

Farooq Ishaq Ahmed was locked up for two and a half years over his attempts to get Omar Ishaq and Kearon Barker to a ferry port in Hull in the hours after the murder of Keith Harrower, the Yorkshire Evening Post reports.

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Harrower was stabbed in the neck in a planned attack outside the Premier convenience store on Dewsbury Road, on December 12 2019.

Ahmed, 57, drove his sons to Hull after the attack as the killers made internet searches for last minute journeys across the North Sea.

Ishaq and Barker were given life sentences and told they must each serve 22 years in custody after being found guilty of murder in February this year.

What happened?

Jurors at the trial at Leeds Crown Court heard how Ahmed drove them in his Ford Fiesta to flats on Low Lane, Horsforth, after the incident.

The pair got out of the vehicle and went into the flats before returning a few minutes later. The Fiesta was then driven to the home of a relative in Bradford.

During the journey Barker used his mobile phone to connect to the internet. Internet search terms included 'boats to Amsterdam', 'Hull to Amsterdam ferries tonight', 'how can I get to Amsterdam', and 'UK to Amsterdam last minute'.

When they arrived in Bradford, Ahmed asked to borrow his relative's car, claiming his own vehicle "was not running correctly".

The three men switched vehicles to a Toyota Yaris which was driven to Hull.

Automatic number plate recognition cameras picked up the vehicle entering King George Dock at Hull at 10.41pm but returning from the area within minutes.

They had arrived at the dock too late for the ferry and Ahmed dropped his sons off in Hull and returned home alone. Barker's phone was then used to make internet searches for accommodation near to the ferry port.

CCTV footage showed the pair going to the Mayfair Hotel on Beverley Road after being dropped off from the Yaris.

The internet searches then changed after the brothers realised that one of them did not have a passport. One search term included 'is provisional licence id ok for ferry to Amsterdam'.

The brothers eventually abandoned the plan to flee the country and returned to Leeds by taxi in the early hours of the morning.

Barker was arrested at his partner's home in Beeston around 6am that day. Ishaq was arrested at his father's home two days later.

What was the sentence?

Ahmed, of Low Lane, Horsforth, pleaded guilty to two counts of assisting an offender.

Sentencing Ahmed, Judge Rodney Jameson QC said: "It is not suggested that you had any connection of any kind with the murder of Keith Harrower, which seems to have been something to do with drug dealing.

"Your sons contacted you within about 35 minutes of the killing and within a couple of hours you had met up."

Judge Jameson told Ahmed he was sentencing him on the basis that his offending was carried out over a period of around five hours after the killing.

He added: "It was only five hours from end to end, essentially, but the other side of that particular coin is that your assistance did not need to be for long.

"If your sons had managed to get on a ferry that night it would have achieved results."

‘Absolutely no justification for his actions’

The murder trial heard Barker, 31, of Cardinal Crescent, Beeston, was in charge of the 'Kinky' drug supply line, selling drugs to users in the south Leeds area.

Harrower, a drug user, was in conflict with those running the line in the days before his death.

Ishaq, 34, of Low Lane, Horsforth, inflicted the fatal blow which severed an artery in Harrower's neck during the attack, which was captured on CCTV.

After Ahmed was sentenced yesterday (April 26), Detective Chief Inspector Emma Winfield, of West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “Farooq Ishaq Ahmed was involved in determined efforts to help his sons flee the country and escape justice over the murder of Keith Harrower. There can be absolutely no justification for his actions.

“His sons are both serving life sentences for the murder, and we hope that his conviction and sentence will provide some further reassurance to Keith’s family and serve as a warning to others.”

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A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, the Yorkshire Evening Post