Innocent law student shot dead in Blackburn amid business dispute, court told

A law student was shot dead in the street following a business dispute between two rival tyre firms, a court has heard.

Innocent passer-by Aya Hachem, 19, was gunned down on a shopping trip near her home in Blackburn, Lancashire.

The first of two shots fired from a passing vehicle hit a building, but the second fatally struck the teenager in the chest on the afternoon of May 17.

Blackburn incident
An armed police officer at the scene on King Street, Blackburn (Peter Byrne/PA)

Six people charged with her murder appeared at Preston Crown Court on Wednesday via prison videolink.

Alexander Langhorn, prosecuting, said police were called to the shooting arising out of what appeared to be a dispute between RI Tyres and Quick Shine.

He said it was the Crown’s case that the defendants arranged the attempt to shoot and kill Pachah Khan, the owner/manager of Quick Shine.

Blackburn residents Feroz Suleman, 39, of Shear Brow; 24-year-old Kashif Manzoor, of Shakeshaft Street; Ayaz Hussain, 34, of Calgary Avenue; Uthman Satia, 28, and Abubakir Satia, 31, both of Oxford Close; and Judy Chapman, 26, of St Hubert’s Road in Great Harwood, were all further remanded in custody.

No applications for bail were made.

The six are also charged with the attempted murder of their alleged intended target, Mr Khan.

Blackburn incident
Aya Hachem was shot dead in the street (Lancashire Police/PA)

They will be expected to enter pleas at a further hearing on October 16.

A provisional trial date of May 4 next year was fixed, but Judge Mark Brown, Honorary Recorder of Preston, said that was “a worst-case scenario” amid the pandemic and he hoped it may be brought forward.

Lebanese-born Miss Hachem, a second year student at the University of Salford, died in hospital from the single gunshot wound a short time after emergency services were called to the scene in King Street at about 3pm.

Her distraught parents said she was the “most loyal devoted daughter” who enjoyed spending time with her family and dreamed of becoming a solicitor.

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