Birkby house arsonist's prison sentence increased

(L-R) Rab Nawaz Khan, father of the five children who died in the fire in Huddersfield, with Ateeqa Nawaz, Rabia Batool, Nafeesa Aziz (the children’s mother) and Tayyaba Batool

Mohammed was originally sentenced for the murders of five children and three adults following a house fire on Osborne Road.

A former Huddersfield man who was extradited from Pakistan after fleeing justice for the murder of a family of eight has had his sentence increased.

Following a hearing at the Court of Appeal yesterday (11/6), 37-year-old Shahid Mohammed had a 23-year prison sentence increased to 27 years (minus 312 days spent in the UK on remand) for the murder of eight persons in Birkby, Huddersfield in 2002.

Mohammed was originally sentenced on August 7, 2019 for the murders of five children and three adults following a house fire on Osborne Road.

The victims of the fire were Zaib-Un-Nisa, 54, Nafeesa Aziz, 35, Tayyaba Batool, 13, Rabina Batool, 10, Ateeqa Nawaz, 5, Aneesa Zawaz, 2, and Najeebah Nawaz, just six-month-old.  All were members of the Chishti family.

Following a five-week trial at Leeds Crown Court, Mohammed was found guilty of eight counts of murder of five children and three adults and one count of conspiracy to commit arson, making him the fourth man convicted for involvement in the incident.

Mohammed was extradited back to the United Kingdom in October in 2018 by officers from West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, with the support of the National Crime Agency, the British High Commission in Islamabad, and the Crown Prosecution Service and local authorities in Pakistan.

He had been held in prison in Pakistan since he was located and arrested in Rawalpindi on 22 January 2015 following a joint operation between West Yorkshire Police, the NCA and Pakistani authorities.

Following his conviction Mohammed appealed against the sentence he was given, while the Solicitor General submitted the original sentence was too lenient.

Detective Inspector Andy Cass of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “We welcome this judgement by the Court of Appeal which should now brings us to the end of the near 20 year road members of the Chishti family have travelled for justice for their loved ones.

“The sheer scale and dreadfulness of the crimes Mohammed and co-conspirators committed should never be forgotten.  Their actions resulted in what is still the single largest murder multiple enquiry in the history of West Yorkshire Police, with Mohammed resisting every attempt to bring him to justice for the horror of what he did.

 “It is very much worth restating that the Chishti family has shown nothing but immense dignity throughout the many years it took us all to reach the point where Mohammed was finally made to answer for his crimes last year.

“I hope seeing that conviction and sentence reinforced is a comfort for them and also reaffirms that those who commit such terrible acts in West Yorkshire will always be hunted till they are made to answer for their crimes.”

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