THE FAMILY of a Blackburn student have paid a heart-breaking tribute to her after another person was convicted of her murder.
Nineteen-year-old law student Aya was shot dead at 3pm on Sunday, May 17th 2020 whilst walking along King Street, Blackburn.
Aya was shot by Zamir Raja who was sitting in the back of a Toyota Avensis being driven by Anthony Ennis. Zamir Raja was a hitman brought in to do a job. He fired two shots from the car which was being driven past Quickshine Tyres. Zamir Raja’s intended target was Pachah Khan: he was the proprietor of Quickshine Tyres. Zamir Raja’s first shot hit one of the windows of Quickshine Tyres: the second hit Aya Hachem.
The shooting was the culmination of a long-running feud between Feroz Suleman, the owner of RI Tyres, and Pachah Khan, the owner of Quickshine Tyres
Aya had no connection to either Pachah Khan, his business at Quickshine Tyres, to Zamir Raja or anyone else in this case: she was going about her lawful everyday business. She was just out shopping for food for her family.
Eight people were sentenced in August 2021 (details below) after they were convicted of roles in the shooting.
And today (Wednesday, March 29) after a trial another man was found guilty of both the murder of Aya Hachem and the attempted murder of Pachah Khan.
Louis Otway was involved in organising and arranging the shooting on 17th May 2020. He was the link between Ayaz Hussain in Blackburn on one hand, and “his boys” the gunman (Zamir Raja) and driver (Anthony Ennis) on the other
Otway, 42, of Clitheroe Road, Manchester, will be sentenced on May 5.
A second man, Suhayl Suleman, 38, of Shear Brow, Blackburn, was found not guilty of both murder and attempted murder.
Det Insp Ian Moore, of the Force Major Investigation Team, said: “Aya Hachem was a young woman whose life – so full of promise – was brutally and tragically cut short on that May afternoon and my thoughts today are first and foremost with her family and loved ones.
“Lewis Otway played a key role in organising the plot to kill Pachah Khan, the bungled execution of which resulted in Aya’s murder, and I would like to thank the jury and the prosecution team for ensuring that he too has been convicted along with those found guilty last year.
“I hope that this offers Aya’s family some sense that we have achieved justice for her and that this shows that Lancashire Constabulary will never give up in our tenacious approach to putting those who commit these atrocious crimes before the courts.
In a statement Aya’s 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. You have been awarded your certificate posthumously and your name is now on the Law Society’s roll of solicitors.
“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.
“We thank Detective Inspector Ian Moore and his team of dedicated police officers who worked so hard to build a strong case against the defendant who has been convicted today.
“Also, to the Crown Prosecution Service, represented by Mr. Cray KC who has presented our case so diligently
“We also thank Mr Justice Jacobs, who managed the court proceedings with confidence and wisdom.
“We offer thanks to the jury for their time and effort to listen for 4 weeks and to distinguish truth from falsehood, lies and honesty.
“Special thanks to the community of Blackburn including the many families that have offered their support in this difficult time.”
Feroz Suleman, 40, of Shear Brow, Blackburn was sentenced to 34 years. He instigated and organised the hit.
Zamir Raja, 33, of Davyhulme Road, Stretford, Manchester was given 34 years. He was responsible for sourcing and transporting the firearm used in the shooting, as well as firing the shots.
Anthony Ennis, 31, of Grasmere Court, Partington was sentenced to 33 years. He drove the Avensis carrying the gunman during the shooting.
Ayaz Hussain, 35, of Calgary Avenue, Blackburn was given 32 years. He 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 petrol was bought to burn out the Avensis, however, this did not go ahead.
Abubakr Satia, 32, of Oxford Close, Blackburn, was sentenced to 28 years. He sourced the Avensis used in the shooting and was also was involved in buying petrol afterwards to burn out the car.
Kashif Manzoor, 26, of Shakeshaft Street, Blackburn was given 27 years. He ensured the Avensis used to transport the shooter was running on the day of the incident.
Uthman Satia, 29, of St Hubert’s Road, Great Harwood was sentenced to 28 years. He helped to transport the gunman and driver to and from the Avensis on Wellington Road as the front seat passenger of the car being driven by his grielfriend, Judy Chapman. Judy Chapman, 26, of St Hubert’s Road, Great Harwood was found not guilty of Aya’s murder but was convicted of her manslaughter. She was also found not guilty of the attempted murder of Pacha Khan.