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?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific