SEVEN men have been jailed for a total of 216 years for murdering law student Aya Hachem who was gunned down near her home.
Tragic Aya, 19, was shot in the chest from a passing car in a botched-drive be shooting sparked by a long-running feud between two tyre companies in Blackburn, Lancashire.
A jury at Preston Crown court found seven men guilty of the teenager’s murder, and Judy Chapman guilty of her manslaughter.
Today seven men have been jailed for 216 years, and will spend the rest of their lives behind bars, while Chapman will be sentenced in October.
Tyre firm boss Feroz Suleman, 40, arranged the execution of a rival businessman in broad daylight – but the gunman he hired shot innocent Aya instead as she passed by.
The court was told that Aya was “in the wrong place at the wrong time” after the feud between Suleman, the owner of RI Tyres, and and Pachah Khan, of Quickshine Tyres.
A Toyota Avensis driven by Anthony Ennis, 31, and carrying hitman Zamir Raja, 33, sped past Quickshine Tyres on three occasions shortly before the fatal fourth journey.
Footage from CCTV cameras captured Suleman standing outside his premises next door at RI Tyres with a “ringside seat” to the shooting he had arranged to take out Mr Khan.
The first shot hit the front window of Quickshine and the second was let off as Lebanese-born Aya walked by, hitting her rather than the intended target.
In a statement read to the court Aya’s father, Ismail said: “They didn’t just kill Aya, they killed our family. The light in our lives has gone out.”
He was joined in the public gallery by her heartbroken mum Samar and brother Ibrahim.
Raja initially denied any involvement in the crime, but on June 18 admitted manslaughter.
On Tuesday, a jury at Preston Crown Court took less than four hours to find Suleman, from Blackburn, guilty of murder and the attempted murder of Mr Khan.
Raja, of Stretford, Greater Manchester, and Ennis, of Partington, Greater Manchester, were also convicted of murder and attempted murder.
Other accomplices Kashif Manzoor, 26, of Blackburn, Ayaz Hussain, 35, of Blackburn, Abubakr Satia, 32, of Blackburn, and his brother Uthman Satia, 29, also of Blackburn, were also convicted of the two charges.
Uthman Satia’s girlfriend, Judy Chapman, 26, of Great Harwood, was cleared of murder and attempted murder but found guilty of manslaughter.
Hitman Raja was sentenced to a minimum of 34 years, Suleman for 34 years, Hussain for 32 years, Abubakr Satia for 28 years, Uthman Satia, for 28 years, Manzoor for 27 years, and Ennis for 33 years.
Mitigating for Raja, Mr Glenser QC told the court that he had written a letter, apologising to Aya’s family and admitting he was “in denial” about what he had one.
In the letter he said that he would do “whatever it takes” to help her family in the future, and it was “never the intention for anything like this devastation to happen.”
He added: “‘The grief I have caused is unimaginable and I take full responsibility for my actions and the role that I played.”
During the trial the prosecution described that student Aya student was shot by hired hitman Raja, who was sitting in the back of a Toyota Avensis being driven by Anthony Ennis.
Hussain, who prosecutors say played an “important and significant” role in the shooting of the teen changed his plea mid-trial – and admitted her manslaughter on July 21.
The court heard that he was the key link between hitman Raja and organier Suleman, with all eight defendants initially pleading not guilty to murder, manslaughter and attempted murder at the start of the trial in May.
Raja was the only other defendant in the case to have entered a guilty plea to manslaughter, mid-way through the trial on June 18.
The remaining defendants – Judy Chapman, Anthony Ennis, Kashif Manzoor, Uthman Satia, Abubakr Satia and Suleman had denied all charges.
The prosecution pursued a murder charge against both Hussain and Raja despite their manslaughter pleas.
Prosecutor Nicholas Johnson QC told the jury that Suleman set up the shooting – hiring Raja to take out his business rival Mr Khan.
When opening the case in May, Mr Johnson 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.
“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.”
Ennis and Hussain had both told the jury they were aware of a plan to scare Mr Khan and other workers at Quickshine, but denied having any knowledge that somebody was to be hurt or killed.