Seven men guilty of murdering law student, 19, in botched drive-by shooting

Seven men have been found guilty of murdering a law student who was gunned down in a botched drive-by shooting amid a longstanding business feud.

Aya Hachem, 19, was mistakenly shot from a passing car while buying groceries near her home in Blackburn, Lancashire, on the afternoon of May 17, 2020.

The hit, arranged by tyre firm boss Feroz Suleman, 40, was intended for rival Pachah Khan, the owner of Quickshine Tyres, but the gunman he hired instead shot Miss Hachem dead.

Driver Anthony Ennis, 31, and hitman Zamir Raja, 33, drove past Quickshine Tyres together on three occasions shortly before the fatal fourth journey.

CCTV footage shows Suleman waiting outside his premises next door at RI Tyres with a ‘ringside seat’ to the shooting he had arranged.

But the first shot hit the front window of Quickshine and the second was fired as Miss Hachem walked by, gunning her down rather than the intended target.

A jury at Preston Crown Court today took less than four hours to find Suleman, from Blackburn, guilty of murder and the attempted murder of rival Mr Khan.

Ennis and Raja, from Partington and Stretford in Greater Manchester, were also convicted of murder and attempted murder.

Their accomplices, Kashif Manzoor, 26, Ayaz Hussain, 35, Abubakr Satia, 32, and his brother Uthman Satia, 29, all from Blackburn, were also convicted of murder and attempted murder.

Uthman Satia’s girlfriend, Judy Chapman, 26, from Great Harwood, was cleared of murder and attempted murder – but found guilty of manslaughter.

The seven male defendants will be sentenced on Thursday, while Chapman will be sentenced in October.

Detective Chief Inspector Zoe Russo, of Lancashire Police, said: ‘Throughout this long and incredibly complex investigation, our focus has been clear – to find the people involved in this most serious course of offending, bring them before the court and to ensure that Aya’s family receive justice.

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‘We must, however, not forget that these convictions will not bring Aya back. Her family continues to mourn her loss.

‘Aya was a remarkable and much loved 19 year old woman.

‘Aya and her family had left Lebanon for the safety of England. Her dream was to qualify and practise as a solicitor.’

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