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.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'