A takeaway owner was run over and killed by his own car as tried to stop a teenage boy from stealing it.
A 15-year-old boy has been jailed for four years and nine months, after admitting the shocking killing of 53-year-old Mohammed Islam in Romiley, Stockport.
Mr Islam, an “influential and inspiring father and husband” who owned the Marple Spice restaurant, had decided to make the delivery before he finished work, as it was on his way home.
The boy, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter, was part of a gang of thieves who had been out looking for a car to steal.
They came across Mr Islam who was driving his “cherished” Mercedes C-Class, which his children had bought him for his 25th wedding anniversary.
As he went to the door of a house on Lyme Grove in Romiley to deliver the takeaway, the boy got in his Mercedes.
Witnesses heard someone shouting ‘no, no, no’, after the boy got in.
Mr Islam ran back to the car and held onto it, in a desperate attempt to stop him.
A resident said they saw the boy speed off ‘at the sort of speed I have seen on Top Gear when they completely floor it’.
Mr Islam held on for about 30 metres, but he was then thrown into the road.
He hit his head on the ground and was then run over by his own car, at about 9pm on January 8.
The married father-of-three died two days later.
The killer then posted adverts on social media to try and sell the car, still trying to sell it until the day Mr Islam died, and he was arrested.
Efforts were later made to try and set the Mercedes on fire. By chance, a friend of Mr Islam’s son spotted the car being driven in Denton.
They followed it to a wooded area in the town, and alerted the police. The 15-year-old, then aged 14, was arrested at his grandmother’s house. His phone was seized and it was discovered he had searched online for Marple Spice, hours after the incident.
Police trawled CCTV, phone data and cell siting evidence to piece together what happened.
Now the teenage killer has been sentenced, after he admitted manslaughter and conspiracy to steal.
The Manchester Evening News applied for reporting restrictions to be lifted so he could be identified, but a judge said his identity being revealed could have “adverse consequences as far as his future is concerned”.
Connor Read, 19, who admitted conspiracy to steal after being part of the gang that night, avoided jail.
Speaking of Mr Islam’s family, Judge Nicholas Dean QC said: “The family have had a light extinguished in their life.
“The profound grief of the family will live with them for many years.
“I am quite sure that their father will never be forgotten.”
Mr Islam’s daughter Nasrin Choudhory told how her family feel “broken” without him.
Tributes were paid in court to Mr Islam, who was described as being “hard working” and “assiduous”.
Manchester Crown Court heard that the thieves had been in a Ford Transit van, which prosecutors said had the “hallmarks of being loaned out for the commission of crime”, and was using false plates.
They were looking for a car to steal in a “planned” and “pre-meditated” crime.
After spotting Mr Islam’s Mercedes, the 15-year-old and another boy, then 14 and now also 15, who has admitted conspiracy to steal, got out of the car.
When he saw someone was trying to steal his beloved 2016 reg car, which had been bought for £19,800, he ran back and desperately tried to cling onto it.
Prosecutor Peter Wright QC said: “That vehicle was a most cherished vehicle, it was purchased by his children as a 25th wedding anniversary present as a token of their love for him.”
But he was thrown from the car, suffering a brain injury which he could not survive.
After the theft of the Mercedes, members of the gang went to a nearby McDonald’s before going their separate ways.
After being arrested, the 15-year-old killer was found with a ‘thieves’ kit’, including a screwdriver and a balaclava.
On being charged by police, he said: “I’ve not done anything to anyone, why does it say I am driving?”
The judge accepted the boy hadn’t intended to kill Mr Islam.
Defending the 15-year-old who admitted manslaughter, Simon Csoka QC said the boy understands “the enormity of the loss that he has caused”.
He said the boy has a low IQ and is a “particularly immature” teenager.
Mr Csoka said it wasn’t “mere coincidence” that those who got out of the Transit were 14-years-old, and said they were “ripe for being put in those situations”.
He said the boy has since made “significant strides” and there are “positive signs” in his case.
“He is sufficiently young to be moulded in a better way, and there is cause for optimism,” Mr Csoka said.
Defending Read, John Richards said the defendant is “overwhelmed with guilt and remorse”, and has made changes to his life.
Read, of Chain Bar Way, Mottram, was sentenced to 13 months in prison, suspended for two years.
The 15-year-old boy will serve half of his four year, nine month sentence.
After the hearing, Detective Inspector Lee Shaw, of GMP’s Major Incident Team, said: “Mohammed’s death had such a profound impact on not just his family who thought the world of him, but also the community that he was such a prominent part of.
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“Our investigative team have known from the outset the importance of catching all those involved in Mohammed’s tragic death and ensuring that we do all we can to try and get the justice that his loved ones deserve.
“Mohammed’s killer may have intended on stealing a car rather than a life that night, but that does not reduce the damage that he caused by an act of brazen criminality that ultimately saw a man lose his life in dreadful circumstances.
“My thoughts today remain with Mohammed’s family and we will continue to support them and try and get them all the answers they deserve as this investigation goes onto its next stage later this year, and while they will never get closure I hope they feel some level of justice now that their loved one’s killer is behind bars.”