Violent Britain: Thief's victim died of heart attack

SHOUKAT ALI, a north London businessman, died from a heart attack after chasing and confronting a thief he saw stealing a radio from his son's car, police said yesterday.

Initial reports suggested Mr Ali died after being severely beaten by the thief but a post- mortem examination yesterday showed bruises on his body were inconsistent with that.

But the police said they were still treating his death as murder and appealing for witnesses. 'In the pathologist's opinion, the heart attack was brought on by the emotional and physical stress of chasing and confronting the thief. Mr Ali did have a recent history of heart disease,' a spokeswoman said.

Mr Ali, 59, chased a man he saw break into his son Zaigham's car, parked outside the family home in Hornsey on Monday evening. He confronted the thief in an alley beside the house.

When his wife and daughter followed they found him unconscious on the ground. Passers-by and an ambulance crew tried in vain to resuscitate him, neighbours said.

Mr Ali's daughter, Farah saw the thief standing in a crowd at the end of the alley and shouted for people to grab him, but he escaped.

Friends and neighbours were quick to praise the popular businessman who owned tobacconist's shops at Bond Street tube station and Oxford Circus in central London.

John Dennis, a family friend and former employee, described him as a religious man, devoted to his wife and doting on his seven grandchildren.

'He was in semi-retirement but Mr Ali was the type of man who could never retire. He had to be busy, he had to be doing something,' he said.

The victim and his wife, Zamurd Ali, were due to be joined by their family to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary yesterday.

His widow was being comforted by her eight-months pregnant daughter Farah, 27, and sons Zaigham, 29, and Zoeb, 25. Other members of the family were flying to join them from Pakistan.

'Mrs Ali and Farah are distraught. Her sons are in shock,' Mr Dennis said after visiting the family. 'It's not really sunk in. It still seems they have got a lot more to go through.'

He said cars were regularly broken into in the area. 'It gets to the stage where if any of us park our cars here we just don't leave anything visible. People round here will break into cars just for a jumper.'

Police described the man they want to question as black, 18-20, 5ft 9in, and wearing white training shoes, baggy turned-up blue denim jeans, a dark bomber jacket and a blue bandana with white stitching.

(Photograph omitted)

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

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager - Part Time

£16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital agency based in Ashford, Ke...

Recruitment Genius: Sales and Marketing Executive

£19000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Author / Multimedia Writer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent