Aamir Siddiqi murder: hitmen guilty of schoolboy killing

 

Two hitmen who were high on heroin when they went to the wrong location and mistakenly stabbed an innocent teenager to death were found guilty of the boy’s murder today.

17 year-old Aamir Siddiqi was killed within seconds of answering the door at his family home in Cardiff to the pair who mistook him for a middle aged man they had been sent to kill for just £1,000 each in blood money.

Today as Ben Hope, 39, and Jason Richards, 38, were convicted of his murder, Amir’s parents talked warmly of a bright young man, always kind to others and the pride of his mother and father.

“With his departure, life has become very empty and somewhat meaningless. Aamir was everything in my life,” said his father Iqbal Siddiqi, 70.

“I still feel his presence around me. I miss his big hugs,” his mother Parveen, 57 added.

Swansea Crown Court heard how Hope and Richards had been sent to murder a middle-aged man who owed money but turned up at the wrong door step in Roath, Cardiff.

Clad in balaclavas and letting out chilling howls, they knifed the teenager to death, injuring his parents as they fought to fend them off.

Hope and Richards denied murdering Aamir and two separate counts of the attempted murder of his parents but were convicted.

Today as he adjourned sentencing until next Friday, Mr Justice Royce said: “It is inevitable that there is a life sentence and it is inevitable that there will be a very substantial minimum term.”

“On the 11th of April 2010, a house which was previously filled with love and laughter was brutally destroyed by the callous, vicious attack on our parents and our brother. Within seconds our lives changed for ever,” said Aamir’s sister, Umbareen Siddiqi, 33, adding: “Aamir was a beautiful person with a bright future. If he was still with us he would be looking forward to turning 21 this year and completing his law degree.”

Explaining that the family was delighted and relieved at convictions that would finally let them begin to deal with the reality of losing Aamir, she continued: “He was the heartbeat of our family but his warmth, love, affection and humour touched many, many more people.”

Mrs Siddiqi continued: “Life changed when the doorbell rang and he opened the door. It took seconds. We didn’t even get the chance to wonder what had happened.”

Her husband added that the killers had committed a “sinister” act and deserved to receive lengthy sentences: “Since these verdicts we feel that justice has been done. We do not want revenge or to feel bad towards anybody, but when someone has done something so bad they should be punished.”

The trial heard how Hope and Richards went about the murder with “staggering incompetence”, selecting the Siddiqi family home because it was a similar looking red-brick property to that of their intended target who lived in a completely different road nearby. Instead of maintaining a low profile, they struck in broad day light and made off in a stolen Volvo which they abandoned, covered in fingerprints and Aamir’s blood.

Detective Superintendent Paul Hurley, of the South Wales Police Specialist Crime Investigations Team, described the case as one of the worst he had known in a 27-year career but praised the local community for being so forthcoming with information in what had been a very complex inquiry.

The pair, who both had convictions for violent crimes and were heroin addicts operating in Cardiff’s underworld, met in prison, and developed a drug-dependent friendship in which Richards needed Hope to inject him in parts of his body that were not already wrecked.

Richards claimed he was the victim of a mistaken identity and another mystery man carried out the killing with Hope. But the jury took just a day to convict both of them on all counts.

Outside court Catrin Evans, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Whilst Aamir’s assailants have been brought to justice, we are acutely aware that nothing can make up for the loss felt by those close to him.”

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
football
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Life and Style
tech
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering