Four men jailed after 'vicious' murder of father-of-two in family feud

Horrific: The four men, left, were jailed for life following the ciocious attack on Mr Choudry, right. (PA and SWNS)

Four men have been jailed for life for the murder of a father-of-four who was subjected to a “vicious and terrifying” machete attack amid a feud between two families.

Sajed Choudry, 42, suffered slash wounds to his ears and his skull was hacked open when he was attacked near his home in Blackburn, Lancashire late last year.

Judge Mr Justice Dove sentenced Sadaqat Ali, 36, his brother Rafaqat Ali, 38, their father-in-law Fazal Ilahi, 63, and another man, Syed Ali Akbar, 45, to life terms at Preston Crown Court on Monday.

The court heard that the family had been involved in a feud with Mr Choudry’s family since May 2018.

On the evening of the attack, Sadaqat Ali had initially armed himself with a machete and tried to confront Mr Choudry’s son, Ahsan, 24.

Sajed Choudry, 42, suffered horrific injuries, including slash wounds to his ears and his skull being hacked open, when he was attacked near his home in Blackburn, Lancashire (PA)

He then went to Ilahi’s home, where the men armed themselves with an axe and sticks.

Rafaqat Ali, Akbar and a boy - who cannot be named for legal reasons - also joined them for the confrontation.

Justice Dove said: “Anyone who has observed the evidence in this trial as it has unfolded will have been astonished and horrified to learn how a respectable family, leading a constructive and responsible life in the community, allowed itself to so rapidly descend into callous violence and murder, killing one of their neighbours and seriously injuring his son.

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“Sajed Choudry and Ahsan Choudry were completely outnumbered by Ali’s group and they were subjected to a vicious, terrifying and sustained attack.

“Sajed Choudry was slashed and chopped by the machete.”

The court heard that Ahsan Choudry tried to escape but was chased and suffered an “appalling injury” to his hand as he tried to fend off the knife.

Members of the Choudry family were in tears in the public gallery as the men were sentenced.

Sadaqat Ali, right, played the leading role in the attack, the court heard. Left: Syed Akbar (PA)

The judge told the defendants: “By your actions you have left a void in this family which will never be filled.”

Sadaqat Ali, of Rhyl Avenue, who was found guilty of murder and attempted murder after a trial, was sentenced to a minimum of 32 years.

The judge said he played the leading role in the attack, which was “undoubtedly planned”.

Guy Gozem QC, defending, said: “Before this night Sadaqat Ali was regarded as a friendly, hard-working, considerate, caring, good-natured, calm and reliable individual.

“Something happened that changed all of that and his previous life and good character.”

Rafaqat Ali and Ilahi, both of Tenby Close, and Akbar, of Cedar Street, were found guilty of murder and wounding with intent following the eight-week trial.

Rafaqat Ali, pictured left, was found guilty of murder and wounding with intent. The men met and armed themselves at the home of Fazal Ilahi, right. (PA)

Rafaqat Ali was sentenced to a minimum of 28 years and Ilahi and Akbar were jailed for a minimum term of 20 years.

The youth, who was convicted of manslaughter and wounding, will be sentenced next month.

Saira Ali, 35, and Asma Ali, 34, the wives of Sadaqat and Rafaqat, were cleared earlier in the trial of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

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