Fugitive sentenced for murdering three generations of family in arson attack
An arsonist who petrol-bombed a home killing three generations of one family has been found guilty of the murder of eight people. He has today been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 23 years.
Five children and three adults died in the attack on the Chisti family’s home in Birkby, Huddersfield, in the early hours of 12 May 2002. Their house was engulfed by flames after firebombs were thrown through the windows and petrol poured through the letterbox. Three family members were able to escape and a fourth jumped from an upper floor but later died of her injuries.
Shahid Mohammed was one of several men involved in planning and setting the fire, but he fled to Pakistan while on bail. He spent 16 years on the run before being successfully extradited last year to face charges at Leeds Crown Court. Three other men were convicted in 2003 for their involvement in the deaths.
The jury heard that an ongoing family feud was the motive for the attack as Mohammed, along with others, violently opposed his sister’s relationship with her partner Saud Pervez. He had threatened that he would kill anyone who helped Mr Pervez and his sister, Shahida Younis, to further their relationship.
One of the victims of the fire, Ateeq-Ur-Rehman, was a close friend of Mr Perez and was suspected of having supported the relationship.
Michael Quinn from the CPS said:
“This utterly horrific crime wiped out three generations of one family including a six month old baby.
“Shahid Mohammed evaded justice for 16 years but the hunt for him never ceased and he must now face justice for what he has done to the Chisti family.”
Notes to editors
- Shahid Mohammed’s date of birth is 07/07/1982
- Shahid Mohammed was also found guilty of arson with intent to endanger life
- In the first trial in July 2003: Shaied Iqbal was convicted of murder, Nazar Hussain and Shakiel Shazad were convicted of manslaughter, and two other men, who gave evidence in the earlier trial, were convicted of conspiracy to cause criminal damage
- Michael Quinn is Head of the Complex Casework unit, CPS Yorkshire and Humberside
- Richard Hebbert is a Specialist Prosecutor in the Complex Casework Unit, CPS Yorkshire and Humberside and the CPS Lawyer with conduct of the case