Seven men convicted of murdering Aya Hachem in botched drive-by shooting

Aya Hachem

Seven men have been found guilty of murdering 19 year old law student Aya Hachem who was mistakenly gunned down in a botched drive-by shooting in Blackburn last year.

Tyre firm boss Feroz Suleman, 40, arranged the execution of a rival businessman in broad daylight but the hitman he hired instead shot dead Aya, who was an innocent passer-by.

The court heard she was “in the wrong place at the wrong time” as the long-running feud between the neighbouring tyre companies culminated on May 17, 2020.

A car driven by Anthony Ennis, 31, with gunman Zamir Raja, 33, on board drove past Quickshine Tyres on three occasions shortly before the fatal fourth journey.

The first shot hit the front window of Quickshine and the second was fired as Lebanese-born Hachem walked by, hitting her rather than the intended target.

On Tuesday a jury at Preston Crown Court found Suleman, from Blackburn, guilty of murder and the attempted murder of Mr Khan.

Raja and Ennis, from Greater Manchester, were also convicted of murder and attempted murder, as were Kashif Manzoor, 26, Ayaz Hussain, 35, Abubakr Satia, 32, and his brother Uthman Satia, 29, who are all from Blackburn.

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Uthman Satia’s girlfriend, Judy Chapman, 26, was cleared of murder and attempted murder but found guilty of manslaughter.

Feroz Suleman (r) and Kashif Manzoor

Meanwhile, the family of Aya Hachem paid tribute to their “beautiful angel in heaven.”

In a tribute they said: “We thank God for the justice that has been served today. To our dear beautiful angel in heaven we know you are in a better and more beautiful place. God chose you from amongst many and blessed you with martyrdom.

“We are so proud of you and we miss you so much – our lives are difficult without you. This is God’s decree and praise be to God for this. You will remain in our hearts forever.

“You loved life and despite all the struggles and barriers that we faced in this country, it did not stop you contributing to your community and charites including the Children’s Society and fundraising at Salford University where you were studying to become a barrister.

“God chose you as an angel in his heaven. Heaven is yours and may God give us the patience after your murder. We love you.

“We thank Detective Chief Inspector Zoe Russo and her team of dedicated police officers who worked so hard to build a strong case against the defendants who have been convicted today.

“Also, to the Crown Prosecution Service, represented by Mr Johnson, from the first moments of Aya’s murder until the last moments of the trial.

“We also thank Mr Justice Turner, who managed the court proceedings with confidence and wisdom.

“We offer thanks to the jury for their time and effort to listen for 12 weeks and to distinguish truth from falsehood, lies and honesty.

“Special thanks to the ARC Centre and the wider community of Blackburn including the many families that have offered their support in this difficult time.”

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