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Feud that led to tragic murder of innocent father-of four

No one knows or can remember what started the feud between two warring families that ended in the savage stabbing of a completely innocent man.

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Police at the scene in Lower Gornal where Yasir Hussain, inset, died

"I would suggest that even those involved don't know the origin," said Detective Inspector Jim Colclough, who led the murder investigation.

Throughout last year there had been escalating levels of violence between the two sides, leaving the intended target of the stabbing Morrad Hussain to fear for his life.

It was 34-year-old Yasir Hussain's tragedy to be with his cousin when the armed gang struck.

The father-of-four from Burnley, who was visiting family in Dudley at the time, had played no part in the clashes that led up to the fatal attack.

But on December 4, after recent death threats to Morrad, part of the Castle Cars Group, he had agreed to accompany him on his delivery rounds for the Golden City takeaway in Lower Gornal.

The scene of the crash at Golden City in Central Drive

The former store owner had been in the Fiesta for less than an hour when the car was rammed into the takeaway in Central Drive by a van.

As at least seven men jumped out wielding machetes, knives and metal bars, they gave a terrifying "battle cry", the three-week trial heard.

Morrad Hussain escaped but not before a brief backward glance when he recognised one of the advancing mob, the defendant Nabeel Choudhary, 21, of Hope Street,West Bromwich.

Yasir, however, was not so lucky. He was cornered by the gang and stabbed several times from behind.

"Any murder is horrific but this one was particularly so, given that there were so many people involved who were all armed with weapons," said D.I. Colclough.

"It was a disgusting, cowardly crime. Yasir was stabbed in the back – he didn't stand a chance."

More coverage of the trial:

The main problem encountered by detectives was the complicated background to the case. "The difficulty was staying focused on the murder investigation, " he said.

"Some of the witnesses in this case had been suspects or perpetrators in the previous incidents, some of them quite serious crimes.

"As much as we could , we had to put these matters to the past because they had already been dealt with by the courts."

The preceding violence comprised a series of increasingly ruthless attacks, from bricks through windows to mowing down a target in a car.

In one incident, a victim had been left with a broken leg after being struck by a car.

Detectives are frustrated that the other occupants of the van on December 4 are still at large.

But they hold out hope that the upcoming anniversary of the murder will yield fresh witnesses.

Mugshot of Nabeel Choudhary, of Hope Street, West Bromwich, found guilty of murdering Yasir Hussain in Central Drive, Lower Gornal

"Our inquiries are very much ongoing," said Mr Colclough. "We believe there were seven individuals in total who jumped out of that van – to my mind, all seven are guilty of the murder of Yasir Hussain.

"There were obviously extensive inquiries undertaken in preparation for trial to the point where we could satisfy the Crown Prosecution Service we'd got enough evidence to support a prosecution.

"But in the next few weeks as the one-year anniversary approaches, our focus moves to a public appeal so we can identify those further parties involved and hopefully seek justice in the same way we have in this case.

"I have no doubt that there are those who know who those individuals are. As it stands, as Yasir's family are well aware, the people who delivered those fatal blows remain outstanding."

Around 1,000 mourners attended the victim's funeral in the town of Nelson where he ran a Spar store. His family have been a constant presence during the trial, making the 250-mile round trip every day to attend court.

"His family are lovely people, who are just devastated. They don't know the Dudley area or all the people involved. They have no idea about the dispute that's ongoing – to them it's quite pointless.

"They have to deal with the death a loved one with so many questions hanging over them."

Maybe the most disturbing aspect in the aftermath of the murder verdict is the prospect of reprisals.

The police say there has been a fall in the number of incidents between the two sides during the investigation, when the spotlight has been on them.

But Mr Colclough said: "We can't get get away from the fact that they may want revenge for the murder. We as an organisation can only do our best to ensure that doesn't happen."

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