Hitmen who stabbed schoolboy Aamir Siddiqi to death in case of mistaken identity are jailed for life

 

Two hitmen who stabbed an innocent schoolboy to death by mistake have been told they are likely to die behind bars after a judge handed them a minimum term of 40 years.

Ben Hope, 39, and Jason Richards, 38, both from Cardiff, were each paid £1,000 in "blood money" to murder a middle-aged family man who owed money to a shady businessman.

But the "hit" went tragically wrong when the balaclava-clad killers, who were high on drugs, went to the wrong address in Roath, Cardiff, in April 2010 and murdered teenager Aamir Siddiqi by mistake.

The 17-year-old's frantic parents, Iqbal and Parveen, fought to save their son but were knifed in turn by the killers, who let out chilling howls.

Hope and Richards - who already had a deplorable criminal record ahead of the stabbing - both protested their innocence during their four-and-a-half month trial at Swansea Crown Court.

But a jury unanimously found them guilty of Aamir's murder as well as the attempted murder of his parents.

Today, in sentencing, Mr Justice Royce said he had no choice but to "significantly increase" the minimum term of 30 years the prosecution had asked for.

He said: "Aamir Siddiqi was the youngest child and only son of Sheikh Iqbal and Parveen Ahmed.

"He was a bright, gentle and courteous boy who was much loved by his family.

"He had secured a place to study law at Cardiff and his future was brimming with promise.

"He was awaiting the arrival of his Koran teacher when he rushed past his parents to open the door.

"You two (Hope and Richards) came in, wearing balaclavas and making a terrible wailing sound.

"Your attack on him was brutal, savage, callous and cruel.

"You hacked him to death in front of his parents, who fought in vain to save Aamir.

"It was simply good fortune that they were not killed. It was your intention that they should die too.

"The aggravating features of this case mean the starting point should significantly increase.

"The starting point is 40 years.

"If you die in jail, few will shed a tear and many will say it will be more than deserved."

During their trial, the court heard that Hope and Richards had been paid by a businessman, angry over a collapsed property deal, to kill a father-of-four who lived in a neighbouring street.

But they went instead to a similar looking red brick, end-of-row house just around the corner in Ninian Road in the leafy suburb of Roath.

Aamir had run down the stairs to answer the door expecting to see his imam, who was due to give him a Koran lesson. Instead, he opened the front door in Ninian Road, Roath, to two masked killers high on heroin.

Hope and Richards wielded daggers over their heads and howled as they set upon the helpless A-level student.

The teenager desperately tried to run back into the house, but they chased him and repeatedly lashed out.

After the murder, a huge manhunt began, and the stolen Volvo car used in the crime was later found abandoned. Traces of Aamir's blood were found in the car's footwell, as were Hope's fingerprints and Richards' DNA.

Despite trying to blame one another for the killing, last week a jury reached a unanimous guilty verdict over the murder of Aamir as well as the attempted murder of his parents.

PA

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicHunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original  manuscripts
News
news
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
lifeAiming to show breasts in a non-sexual way for cancer awareness
New Articles
i100... while following the referendum
New Articles
i100... with this review
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special
tvNick Frost, Natalie Gumede and Michael Troughton step up
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Beard, Ben Schnetzer, Douglas Booth and Jack Farthing in ‘The Riot Club’
filmReview: Sheer nastiness of Riot Club takes you aback
Arts and Entertainment
tvBut something’s not quite right
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week