Aya Hachem: Seven men jailed for life over murder of student in botched drive-by shooting

Tyre firm boss arranged execution of rival but gunman shot 19-year-old passer-by instead

Chiara Giordano
Thursday 05 August 2021 17:59 BST
CCTV shows moments leading up Aya Hachem drive-by shooting as seven found guilty

Seven men have been jailed for life for the murder of a law student who was mistakenly gunned down in a botched drive-by shooting.

Tyre firm boss Feroz Suleman, 40, arranged the execution of a rival businessman in broad daylight but the gunman he hired instead shot dead innocent passer-by Aya Hachem.

The 19-year-old, who dreamed of becoming a solicitor, had fled from violence in her native Lebanon as a child to settle with her family in Blackburn, Lancashire.

Ms Hachem was shot on 17 May last year while on a trip to a supermarket to buy food ready for when her family would break their Ramadan feast that evening.

She died in hospital after a bullet entered her left shoulder, passed through her body and embedded itself in a telegraph pole.

On Thursday, Suleman, of Shear Brow, Blackburn, was ordered to serve a minimum of 34 years before he can be considered for parole.

The gunman, Zamir Raja, 33, of Davyhulme Road, Stretford, was jailed for a minimum of 34 years and his driver, Anthony Ennis, 31, of Grasmere Court, Partington, must serve at least 33 years.

Fellow accomplices Ayaz Hussain, 36, of Calgary Avenue, Blackburn; Abubakr Satia, 32, of Oxford Close, Blackburn; his brother, Uthman Satia, 29, of St Hubert’s Road, Great Harwood, and Kashif Manzoor, 26, of Shakeshaft Street, Blackburn were handed minimum terms of 32 years, 28 years, 28 years, and 27 years, respectively.

The intended target was Pachah Khan, 31, owner of Quickshine Car Wash, who angered Suleman, boss of neighbouring RI Tyres, when they began to sell tyres and became direct competition.

Tyre firm boss Feroz Suleman, 40, has been jailed for 34 years after law student Aya Hachem was shot dead in a botched drive-by shooting
Tyre firm boss Feroz Suleman, 40, has been jailed for 34 years after law student Aya Hachem was shot dead in a botched drive-by shooting (Lancashire Police/PA)

A bitter feud developed and Suleman ordered the execution of Mr Khan, telling his trusted ally Hussain to recruit an assassin.

Manchester-based hitman Raja and his driver Ennis were assigned the task.

Abubakr Satia sourced a silver Toyota Avensis for just £300, financed by his friend Suleman, which was used by Raja and Ennis on the day of the shooting.

Judy Chapman, 26, who was convicted of manslaughter for her involvement, drove the gunman and driver from Bolton with her boyfriend, Uthman Satia, as front-seat passenger. She then collected the pair after the shooting.

Law student Aya Hachem, 19, who was shot dead during a botched drive-by shooting in Blackburn
Law student Aya Hachem, 19, who was shot dead during a botched drive-by shooting in Blackburn (Family handout/Lancashire Police/PA)

Manzoor ensured the unreliable Avensis was able to be used after he jump-started the vehicle and left the engine running.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Turner told Suleman: “You were the driving force behind the whole deadly enterprise from beginning to end and followed through this plan with obsessive determination.

“When you were in prison you commented to Abubakr Satia you were the captain of the ship and if you were to go down then everyone would down with you. How right you were.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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