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Aya Hachem: Student shot dead in Blackburn 'in wrong place at wrong time', court hears
20 May 2021, 12:59
A law student was "in the wrong place at the wrong time" when she was caught in the crossfire of a feud between two neighbouring tyre firm owners, a court has heard.
"Unlucky" passer-by Aya Hachem, 19, was gunned down in a vicious drive-by shooting in Blackburn with Darwen, Lancashire, on the afternoon of 17 May last year.
The incident, on a busy street in broad daylight, was the culmination of a long-running dispute between Feroz Suleman, the owner of RI Tyres, and Pachah Khan, the proprietor of Quickshine Tyres, a jury at Preston Crown Court was told.
Opening the case on Thursday, prosecutor Nicholas Johnson QC said: "The bad blood between the men had been building over a period of time and it got to the extent that a plan was hatched to kill Mr Khan and/or someone else at Quickshine Tyres.
READ MORE: Five people charged with Aya Hachem's murder
"What happened was planned in detail and involved many people. The prosecution alleges that each of the eight people in the dock played their part.
"At 3pm on Sunday 17 May, Aya Hachem was shot dead whilst walking along King Street in Blackburn. She was shot by Zamir Raja who was sitting in the back of a Toyota Avensis being driven by Anthony Ennis.
"Raja was a hitman brought in from south Manchester to do a job. He fired two shots from the car which was being driven past Quickshine Tyres."
Mr Johnson continued: "Raja's intended target, or one of his intended targets, was Pachah Khan. Zamir Raja's first shot hit one of the windows of Quickshine, the second hit Aya Hachem.
"Aya had no connection to either Mr Khan, his business, Zamir Raja, or anyone else in this case. She was simply unlucky. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Suleman, 40, of, Blackburn; Raja, 33, of Stretford, Greater Manchester; Ennis, 31, of Partington, Greater Manchester, Kashif Manzoor, 26, of, Blackburn; Ayaz Hussain, 35, of Blackburn; Abubakr Satia, 32, of Blackburn, his brother Uthman Satia, 29, of Great Harwood, and Judy Chapman, 26, of Great Harwood, all deny murder.
All eight have also pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of Mr Khan.
The trial is set to last up to 10 weeks.