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‘Rot in prison’: Men get life sentences for murdering student in botched drive-by shooting

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Seven men been been given life sentences of up to 34 years for the murder of a law student killed during a botched drive-by shooting.

Aya Hachem was said to be in the “wrong place at the wrong time” when she was killed in Blackburn, Lancashire, on 17 May last year.

She died in hospital after a bullet went into her left shoulder, passed through her body and ended up in a telegraph pole.

Feroz Suleman, 40, had arranged the execution of a rival tyre shop owner, but the gunman shot dead Ms Hachem with a wayward second bullet.

The 19-year-old, whose family had fled violence in Lebanon, was heading to a supermarket to buy food for her family to break their Ramadan fast when she was hit.

Top row L-R: Feroz Suleman, Abubakr Satia, Kashif Manzoor and Uthman Satia. Bottom row L-R: Ayaz Hussain, Zamir Raja and Anthony Ennis. Pic: Lancashire Constabulary
Image: Top L-R: Feroz Suleman, Abubakr Satia, Kashif Manzoor and Uthman Satia. Bottom L-R: Ayaz Hussain, Zamir Raja and Anthony Ennis

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Hitman arrested for Blackburn shooting

The Toyota, driven by Anthony Ennis, 31, with hitman Zamir Raja, 33, on board drove past Quick Shine Tyres three times before the fatal fourth pass.

The first shot hit the front window of the business, but the second hit Ms Hachem.

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CCTV captured Suleman outside his premises next door at RI Tyres with a “ringside seat” to the shooting he had arranged targeting Pachah Khan, who ran Quick Shine.

The incident was a culmination of a rivalry between Suleman and Mr Khan, which started when Quick Shine began to also sell tyres.

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CCTV: Moments leading up to Aya Hachem shooting.

On Thursday at Preston Crown Court, Suleman – who arranged the shooting – was sentenced to a minimum term of 34 years, as was hitman Raja.

Driver Ennis will serve at least 33 years.

Accomplices Ayaz Hussain, 36; Abubakr Satia, 32; his brother, Uthman Satia, 29; and Kashif Manzoor, 26, were handed minimum terms of 32 years, 28 years, 28 years, and 27 years, respectively

Manzoor had ensured the car was ready for the drive-by, jump-starting the vehicle bought for just £300 by Abubakr Satia a week earlier.

Hussain, described as Suleman’s “right-hand man”, acted as a go-between with gunman Raja and Ennis – who were both based in Manchester.

Uthman Satia and his girlfriend, Judy Chapman, drove the assassins away from the scene.

CCTV shows a gun pointing from the back window of the car as it drove by Quick Shine
Image: CCTV shows a gun pointing from the back window of the car as it drove by Quick Shine
The bullet travelled through Aya before coming to stop in a telegraph pole.
Image: The bullet travelled through Aya before coming to stop in a telegraph pole

The group were sentenced after being found guilty earlier this week of Ms Hachem’s murder, and the attempted murder of Mr Khan.

Chapman, 26, of Great Harwood, was found not guilty of murder and attempted murder but guilty of manslaughter.

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‘I hope they rot in prison’ – brother

Ms Hachem’s brother, Ibrahim Hachem, said he wouldn’t wish the pain of his sister’s death on his worst enemy, but that he hoped her murderers would “rot in prison”.

“No matter what sentence they get, Aya’s gone, nothing’s going to bring her back,” he said.

“But I’m glad a lot of people are going to be safe from these thugs. No one else is going to be hurt.”

Speaking after the guilty verdicts on Tuesday, her family said they “thanked God for the justice that has been served”.

Paying tribute to the student, they said: “We are so proud of you and we miss you so much – our lives are difficult without you.

Aya was hoping to become a barrister.
Image: Aya helped raise money for several charities

“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 charities including the Children’s Society and fundraising at Salford University where you were studying to become a barrister.

“We love you.”