Seven men are jailed for life for murdering innocent law student, 19, who was gunned down on her way to the shops by drive-by killers trying to kill business rival in car wash feud

  • CCTV showed the 19-year-old student walking past the garage on the way to Lidl
  • But Aya Hachem was hit in the chest by a stray bullet shot from a Toyota Avensis
  • The force of the blast sent the round through her body and into a telegraph pole
  • It came after long-term feud of tyre firm owners Feroz Suleman and Pachah Khan
  • Seven men were today jailed for life for the murder of 19-year-old student Aya

Seven men have been jailed for life for the murder of law student Aya Hachem 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.

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.

Miss Hachem was shot on May 17 last year while on a trip to a nearby 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 Blackburn, was ordered to serve a minimum of 34 years before he can be considered for parole.

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

Fellow accomplices Ayaz Hussain, 36, Abubakr Satia, 32, both of Blackburn; his brother, Uthman Satia, 29, of Great Harwood, and Kashif Manzoor, 26, of Blackburn were handed minimum terms of 32 years, 28 years, 28 years, and 27 years, respectively.

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.’

Horrific footage shows the moment Aya Hachem’s (pictured) drive-by killers opened fire on a rival tyre firm but hit her at point-blank range as she walked to the shop

Suleman, 40, Kashif Manzoor, 26, Ayaz Hussain, 35, Abubakr Satia, 32, Zamir Raja (right), 33, Anthony Ennis (left), 31, Uthman Satia, 29, were today found guilty of murder at Preston Crown Court

All seven men were also convicted of the attempted murder of Pachah Khan while Chapman was acquitted of the attempted murder of Mr Khan. Left: Kashif Manzoor. Right: Feroz Suleman

Left: Ayaz Hussain. Right: Uthman Satia. Lancashire Police today released the footage showing the moments leading up to Aya’s death

Preston Crown Court heard the drive-by shooting was organised by Suleman, who had been embroiled in a bitter feud with his neighbour and business rival Mr Khan. Left: Abubakr Satia. Right: Judy Chapman

The men were jailed today in front of Aya’s heartbroken father Ismail, mother Samar and brother Ibrahim, who watched on from the public gallery. 

In a statement, Aya’s father Ismail told the court: ‘They didn’t just kill Aya, they killed our family. The light in our lives has gone out.’

Yesterday, horrific footage showed the moment Aya’s drive-by killers opened fire on a rival tyre firm but hit her at point-blank range as she walked to the shop.

CCTV captured the 19-year-old law student walking past the garage on the way to Lidl before she was hit in the chest by a stray bullet shot from a Toyota Avensis.

The force of the blast sent the round straight through her body and into a nearby telegraph pole.

What were each of the defendants convicted for?

  • Feroz Suleman, 40, of Blackburn instigated and organised the hit.
  • Abubakr Satia, 32, of Blackburn sourced the Avensis used in the shooting and was also involved in buying petrol afterwards to burn out the car, however, this did not go ahead.
  • Kashif Manzoor, 26, of Blackburn was responsible for ensuring the Avensis used to transport the shooter was running on the day of the incident.
  • Judy Chapman, 26, of Great Harwood, drove the gunman and driver from Bolton to the Avensis on Wellington Road, Blackburn and collected them afterwards in the afternoon of the shooting.
  • Uthman Satia, 29, of Great Harwood – Judy Chapman’s partner – was also responsible for transporting the gunman and driver to and from the Avensis on Wellington Road as Chapman’s front seat passenger.
  • Ayaz Hussain, 35, of Blackburn was the link between the Lancashire offenders and Zamir Raja and Anthony Ennis, based in Manchester. He played a key role in organising and orchestrating the shooting and was in company of Abubakr Satia when the petrol to burn out the Avensis was bought.
  • Zamir Raja, 33, of Stretford, Manchester was responsible for sourcing and transporting the firearm used in the shooting, as well as firing the shots.
  • Anthony Ennis, 31, Partington drove the Avensis carrying the gunman during the shooting. 


She was not the intended target of the shooting, which came after a long-running feud between rival tyre firm owners Suleman and Pachah Khan.  

Judy Chapman, 26, was cleared of murdering Aya but found guilty of manslaughter after a 12-week trial.

All seven men were also convicted of the attempted murder of Pachah Khan while Chapman was acquitted of the attempted murder of Mr Khan.

Lancashire Police today released the footage showing the moments leading up to Aya’s death.

The clip shows the Toyota slowly approach the garage as one of the early rounds burst a bucket near one of the workers – causing him to spin around in horror.

The video ends by showing innocent bystander Aya standing on the path between the shooter and the target – just feet away from the gun that killed her.

Other media released by the police force – as the case against her killers came to a close – shows the gun being pointed out of the car.

Car wash workers look on in surprise as they watch the Toyota slow down and the small handgun poke out from the back left passenger seat.

Preston Crown Court heard the drive-by shooting was organised by Suleman, who had been embroiled in a bitter feud with his neighbour and business rival Mr Khan.

Suleman hired Raja, a hitman from Manchester, to carry out the shooting for the price of £1,500.

Raja, of no fixed address, refused to fully participate in cross-examination and later pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

On his behalf, his legal team argued it was never his intention to kill and he had set out on a mission to ‘scare or intimidate’ Mr Khan and his workers at Quickshine Tyres.

The Toyota Avensis driven by Ennis with hitman Raja on board drove past Quickshine Tyres on three occasions shortly before the fatal fourth journey.

Footage from CCTV cameras captured Suleman stood outside his premises next door at RI Tyres with a ‘ringside seat’ to the shooting.

The first shot hit the front window of Quickshine and the second was let off as Lebanese-born Ms Hachem walked by – hitting her rather than the intended target.

Nicholas Johnson QC previously told the jury Raja, the man who he says fired the shot that killed Aya, fled to Portugal via Dublin nine days after the incident. 

Lancashire Police released new photographs of Aya Hachem (left and right) today after her killers were convicted

Lancashire Police today released the footage showing the moments leading up to Aya’s death. One of the bullets hit near a workman (pictured)

The force of the blast sent the round straight through Aya’s body and into a nearby telegraph pole (pictured)

Ammunition in the car was found by officers and released by Lancashire Police today after the men were convicted

A search of the Nissan Juke which Raja drove to Liverpool with Anthony Ennis on  May 16 revealed a similar bullet to the one that killed Aya

The Avensis is pictured in situ where it was found on Wellington Road following the shooting

Operation Colindale to find Aya’s killers in numbers:

  • 23 arrests, 8 charges
  • 80,000 hours of CCTV seized
  • 3,959 exhibits generated
  • 120 phones seized
  • 180 digital storage devices seized
  • Two bullets recovered, one of which killed Aya, together with 2 live rounds of ammunition
  • 62 scenes searched
  • 2,455 actions raised
  • 30 vehicles seized and searched, including the Toyota Avensis used to transport the gunman

Three days later Anthony Ennis, the man accused of being Raja’s driver at the time of the hit, flew to the continent on his brother’s passport, it was heard.

Prosecutors say a meet up between the pair in which they initially pretended not to know each other but later embraced in a ‘brotherly hug’ was caught on CCTV.

Nicholas Johnson QC told the jury at Preston Crown Court: ‘They thought they had got away with murder. Home free.’

By this stage, other suspects Feroz Suleman, Judy Chapman, Kashif Manzoor, Abubkar Satia, Uthman Satia and Hussain Ayaz had all been arrested.

Ten days after he had travelled to Portugal, Raja returned to the UK in a car he had hired with Ennis in Portugal, Mr Johnson told the court.

Mr Johnson said the feud between Suleman and Mr Khan started in 2019 when Quickshine began selling tyres next door to RI after previously only washing cars.

This resulted in ‘bad blood’, it was heard, and a plan was hatched to kill Mr Khan and/or someone else at Quickshine.

The court heard Aya, an aspiring solicitor, was walking along King Street in Blackburn at 3pm on May 17, 2020, when she was hit.

Aya, a second-year student at the University of Salford, died in hospital from a single gunshot wound a short time later of an ‘irreversible’ cardiac arrest.

Her distraught parents said she was the ‘most loyal, devoted daughter’ who enjoyed spending time with her family.

Aya and her family were also known to be heavily involved with Blackburn’s asylum seeker and refugee community.

Aya (left and right), a second-year student at the University of Salford, died in hospital from a single gunshot wound a short time later of an ‘irreversible’ cardiac arrest

Kashif Manzoor’s text messages were also revealed by Lancashire Police today as they shared evidence used in the case 

A Google search made by tyre firm owner Feroz Suleman is pictured in a release by Lancashire Police today

She herself had fled war-torn Lebanon for a new life in the UK and had passed her second year exams shortly before her tragic death.

She was a trustee with the Children’s Society and won Student of the Year at Blackburn Central High School in 2016.

In a touching tribute online at the time of Aya’s death, Noreen Hussain said: ‘Aya Hachem was exactly the type of young woman I’d love for her to aspire to be like.’

The Asylum and Refugee Community (ARC) Project wrote in a Facebook post: ‘With great sadness and heartache we have to share with you that we have lost Aya, beloved eldest daughter of Samar and Ismael from Lebanon.

‘Aya, one of our own, lost her life in a horrific senseless attack, randomly caught up in a shooting outside Lidl, King Street, Blackburn as she walked past at around 3pm on Sunday.

‘Aya, a beautiful 19 year old young woman from Lebanon, had just passed her 2nd year law exams at Salford University and had a dream and ambition to study international law. Aya and her family are much loved in our ARC community.

‘Our hearts and prayers are with them at this painful time especially during this holy month of Ramadan when Aya and her family were fasting.’

Seven people have been found guilty of the murder of law student Aya Hachem (left and right) who was gunned down as she shopped for groceries in botched drive-by execution 

Ms Hachem (pictured), who was a young trustee with the Children’s Society, had been close to her home when she was shot and killed on King Street

Feroz Suleman (right), 40, and Kashif Manzoor (left), 26, were among the men found guilty of murdering the teenager

Jury at Preston Crown Court also found Abubakir Satia (left), 32, and his brother Uthman Satia (right), 29, guilty of murder

Ayaz Hussain (left), 35, was also found guilty of Ms Hachem’s murder. Judy Chapman (right), 26, was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter

In a statement issued after the verdicts, Aya’s heartbroken family said: ‘We thank God for the justice that has been served today.

‘To our dear beautiful angel in heaven we know you are in a better and more beautiful place. God chose you from amongst many and blessed you with martyrdom.

‘We are so proud of you and we miss you so much – our lives are difficult without you. This is God’s decree and praise be to God for this. You will remain in our hearts forever.

‘You loved life and despite all the struggles and barriers that we faced in this country, it did not stop you contributing to your community and charites including the Children’s Society and fundraising at Salford University where you were studying to become a barrister.

‘God chose you as an angel in his heaven. Heaven is yours and may God give us the patience after your murder. We love you.’

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Zoe Russo from Lancashire’s Force Major Investigation Team, said: ‘My thoughts and sympathies are very much with Aya’s family for the devastating loss they have suffered.

‘They have had to endure a twelve-week trial and listened to the lies of each of the eight defendants, none of whom showed any responsibility or remorse for their actions.

‘The death of someone we love is excruciating, especially when that person is one’s child. Aya’s parents will never get over her death.

‘They will, however, I hope, with time, come to terms with Aya’s passing and rebuild themselves around their loss.

‘I hope these convictions go some way to laying the foundations for that long rebuilding process.’

Ms Hachem’s father Ismail – a former soldier – arrived in England ten years ago as an asylum seeker before being granted British citizenship in 2019

The shooting was the culmination of a long-running dispute between Suleman, the owner of RI Tyres, and Mr Khan, the owner of Quickshine Tyres, after the latter began to sell tyres having previously only washed cars. Pictured: Police at the scene previously 

Ms Hachem’s family flew to Lebanon for the teenager’s funeral which was held in Qlaileh. Pictured: Her coffin is carried by relatives

Alan Richardson, Senior Crown Prosecutor, added: ‘Each of these callous conspirators is in their way responsible for the senseless killing of Aya Hachem – an innocent young woman full of promise who lost her life as a result of a petty business rivalry.

‘The ruthlessness of everyone involved is staggering, with the group going to extreme lengths to plan an assassination in broad daylight – risking the lives of members of the public going about their daily business.

‘Even when the wrong target was hit, they refused to display any guilt or remorse and denied involvement in this devastating murder.’

Aya’s father Ismail Hachem – a former soldier – arrived in England ten years ago as an asylum seeker before being granted British citizenship in 2019.

Ms Hachem’s family flew to Lebanon for the teenager’s funeral which was held in Qlaileh.

The seven men will be sentenced on Thursday. Chapman will be sentenced at a date to be confirmed in October.

Timeline of the plot to attack a rival tyre firm that lead to Aya Hachem being killed in the crossfire

May 1, 2020: The most recent dispute between the two tyre firms happened on the Friday, when a workman trying to access Quick Shine’s yard to put up a sign for RI Tyres was denied entry and allegedly threatened.

May 6, 2020: The attack planning began. Abubakr Satia contacted an associate to arrange to buy a cheap, expendable car, which was to be used in the shooting.

May 10, 2020: He paid £300 for a 53 plate Toyota Avensis, financed by Feroz Suleman. It was in working order but had a battery issue meaning it often needed jump starting.

May 16, 2020:  Zamir Raja and Anthony Ennis met with up with Ayaz Hussain and Feroz Suleman in Blackburn after travelling together to Liverpool in an associate’s car.

At around 6.35pm, the four, driven by Hussain, scoped out and travelled the route the Avensis was to take, meaning that Raja and Ennis – from Manchester – could familiarise themselves with the area ahead of what was due to take place the following day.

Suleman, who had left his mobile phone in his car which was parked up on his street to provide an alibi for his location, was seen on CCTV hanging out of the back of the car when collecting latex gloves from a colleague at another RI Tyres location on Copy Nook.

The Avensis was moved on to a car park on Wellington Road a short time later, ready to be used the next afternoon. It was also where it was to be dumped after the shooting.

Later that night, Suleman – who had been uncontactable due to his phone being in his car – was contacted by his girlfriend who accused him of being unfaithful. Kashif Mansoor messaged her to try and explain that Suleman had not cheated on her but instead, they had been up to something, saying ‘you’ll find out tomorrow probably read it in the papers.’

May 17, 2020: In a voice note sent to the same woman over Instagram in the early hours of the day of the shooting, Suleman said: ‘I was actually on a little bit of a mission…’

Later that day at around 1.50pm, Judy Chapman and her boyfriend, Uthman Satia, drove from their home in Great Harwood in her car, a blue Ford Fiesta, to the car park on Wellington Road, where Uthman checked on the Avensis.

At around 2.25pm, the pair began their journey to collect Raja and Ennis from Bolton. CCTV captured them getting into Chapman’s Fiesta, with Uthman Satia collapsing the passenger seat to allow them access. Ennis was seen carrying two plastic bags, while Raja was also in possession of a separate carrier bag.

At 2.40pm, Kashif Manzoor went to the Wellington Road car park, jumpstarting the Avensis and kept watch of it whilst it was running, ahead of the arrival of Chapman’s Fiesta containing the shooter and driver.

While on their journey at around 2.45pm, Chapman and her passengers, Uthman Satia, Raja and Ennis met with Ayaz Hussain and Abubakr Satia – in his Range Rover – on Jack Walker Way. Here, it is believed, they were given final instructions.

Afterwards, the Fiesta continued to Wellington Road, where Zamir Raja and Anthony Ennis exited, getting into the Avensis to carry out their planned execution. They left with Ennis at the wheel and Raja in the back at 2.57pm, driving by Quick Shine on the opposite side of the road.

They went behind RI Tyres, turning around so they would be on the same side of the road as Quick Shine and their target, Pacha Khan. The back window of the car was lowered in preparation.

They drove by a second time, where Mr Khan was stood outside. Feroz Suleman, on the forecourt of RI Tyres, was seen on CCTV looking over his shoulder towards Quick Shine, in anticipation of what was he thought was about to happen.

The Avensis passed by, turned around in a street behind again, repeating the journey past Quick Shine without incident. Before the final trip, the back-passenger window was again lowered in preparation for the firearm to be aimed and fired.

As this was happening, Kashif Manzoor pulled up at RI in his car, parking on the forecourt. He got out, carrying jump leads which are believed to have started the Avensis around 20 minutes previously and was seen on CCTV looking directly at it as the car was driven by a final time.

At 3pm, the Avensis passed Quick Shine on the fourth occasion, slowing down as it travelled by. The gun was pointed towards Pacha Khan, fired, and hit one of Quick Shine’s windows.

It then sped up and a second shot was fired, hitting Aya Hachem. Pacha Khan instantly jumped over a surrounding fence to go and help, whilst Suleman showed little reaction.

Ennis and Raja continued on to Wellington Road, dumped the Avensis and got into Chapman’s Fiesta who, still in company of her boyfriend Uthman Satia, drove them back to Bolton.

Just after the shooting at 3.01pm, Ayaz Hussain and Abubakr Satia visited Rosehill Service Station, filling a jerry can with petrol, which is believed to have been destined for burning out the Avensis.

The pair then went back to the scene of the shooting in Satia’s Range Rover, which slowed down as it passed a crowd of people who had rushed to assist Aya as she lay injured on the ground. It is thought that the gathering of the public and the responding police patrols deterred the pair from carrying out the plan to burn the Avensis. Instead, they headed away from the scene and Hussain called Feroz Suleman.

Police flooded the area and located the Avensis within an hour of the shots being fired. A subsequent search revealed an unspent cartridge similar to a bullet found on the forecourt of Quick Shine, in the rear of the car.

As officers went to view CCTV at RI Tyres given the building’s close proximity to Quick Shine, Ayaz Hussain was seen looking visibly shocked when the footage showed Aya being shot. Suleman then gestured towards the door, walking out of the room with Hussain and Abubakr Satia. The trio walked to an upstairs area but returned to where the CCTV was being watched by officers within minutes.

Abubakr Satia was still in the room when a voice announced over police radio that the Avensis had been found. He hastily exited the room and went to speak to Suleman and Hussain, who were now on the forecourt of RI. They got in Abubakr Satia’s Range Rover and headed in the direction of Wellington Road – where the Avensis had been dumped – before returning.

May 18, 2020: Feroz Suleman was arrested.

May 19, 2020: He was followed by Abubakr Satia on the Tuesday. His car was seized and while police were waiting it for to be collected, Satia’s phone – on the driver’s seat – was remotely wiped. Specialist officers were, however, later able to recover its contents.

May 20, 2020: Judy Chapman and Uthman Satia’s arrests followed on the Wednesday.

May 21, 2020: Ayaz Hussain and Kashif were detained on the Thursday.

May 26, 2020: Nine days after Aya was killed, Zamir Raja – driven by an associate he intimidated into taking him – travelled to Glasgow Airport and boarded a flight to Dublin, catching a further plane to Lisbon in Portugal.

May 29, 2020: Three days later, Anthony Ennis flew out of Heathrow Airport using a relative’s passport, meeting up with Raja at Lisbon Airport.

June 3, 2020: The pair booked into a hotel in Marbella.

June 5, 2020: Raja boarded a ferry from France to the UK.

June 6, 2020: He was arrested at Euston Train Station in London, close to a train which was departing to Manchester.

A search of the Nissan Juke which Raja drove to Liverpool with Anthony Ennis on Saturday May 16, revealed a similar bullet to the one that killed Aya.

July 4, 2020: Anthony Ennis was arrested by Spanish authorities in Fuengirola. He was later extradited back to the UK.

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