Violent Britain: Thief's victim died of heart attack
Wednesday 20 April 1994
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.
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...