Aya Hachem: seven jailed for life in UK for murdering Lebanese law student

Judge told ringleader that he carried out the bungled plot to kill a rival with obsessive determination

Aya Hackem was killed in Blackburn, northwest England

Seven men have been jailed for life for the murder of a Lebanese-born law student in a botched drive-by shooting.

Aya Hachem, 19, was killed after being in the wrong place at the wrong time during an escalating feud between the heads of two neighbouring tyre companies in Blackburn, in north-west England.

Feroz Suleman, 40, arranged the killing of his rival but the hitman hired for the job instead killed Hachem, who was shopping for food for her family.

Trial judge Mr Justice Turner told Suleman that he was the driving force behind the attempted killing of his rival and carried through the plan with “obsessive determination”.

The judge added: “When you were in prison you commented … you were the captain of the ship and if you were to go down then everyone would go down with you. How right you were.”

Suleman and the head of the neighbouring business, Pachah Khan, 31, fell out after they became direct competitors in the tyre business and accused each other of stealing customers.

The shooting in May last year was the culmination of a series of incidents including an apparent arson attack and a dispute over a sign that led to the police being called.

Suleman will serve a minimum of 34 years. The other men will serve minimum terms of at least 27 years.

Updated: August 5th 2021, 1:38 PM
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