Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 9 July 2020

Lebanese student killed in crossfire in dispute between tyre companies, court hears

Aya Hachem, 19, was killed in a drive-by shooting

Relatives of Aya Hachem, who was killed in a shooting in Blackburn, Britain, carry her coffin during the funeral at a cemetery in her family's hometown of Qlaileh, near Tyre, southern Lebanon. REUTERS/Aziz Taher
Relatives of Aya Hachem, who was killed in a shooting in Blackburn, Britain, carry her coffin during the funeral at a cemetery in her family's hometown of Qlaileh, near Tyre, southern Lebanon. REUTERS/Aziz Taher

Lebanese law student Aya Hachem was killed in the crossfire in a business dispute between two rival UK tyre companies, a court has heard.

Ms Hachem, 19, from Blackburn in northern England, was shot dead in a drive-by shooting as she walked to a supermarket.

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

Police officers have said they do not believe the part-time charity worker, whose parents fled Lebanon as refugees, was the intended target.

Prosecutor Alexander Langhorn told the court the police had been called to a shooting arising out of what appeared to be a dispute between RI Tyres and Quick Shine.

It is alleged the defendants had arranged an attempt to shoot and kill Pachah Khan, the owner and manager of Quick Shine.

All six are also charged with the attempted murder of Mr Khan.

They have been remanded in custody and will next appear in court in October. A trial date has been fixed for May next year.

The six defendants, Feroz Suleman, 39, Kashif Manzoor, 24, Ayaz Hussain, 34, Uthman Satia, 28, Abubakir Satia, 31, and Judy Chapman, 26, appeared by video link.

Ms Hachem, who was in her second year of law at Salford University in Greater Manchester, had ambitions of becoming a solicitor.

In a statement, her family described her as a loyal and devoted daughter.

Updated: May 28, 2020 04:10 AM

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