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Gang 'ringleader' jailed for at least 26 years over feuding families murder

The ringleader of an armed mob who stabbed to death a father-of-four in a late-night ambush has been jailed for life.

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Victim Yasir Hussain, and right, Nabeel Choudhary who was found guilty of murder

Nabeel Choudhary, aged 21, will serve a minimum sentence of 26 years and 37 days for the murder of Yasir Hussain outside the Golden City takeaway, in Dudley, last year.

The sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court followed violent scenes between the families of the defendant and victim, with both sides involved in a bitter, long-running feud in the lead-up to the murder.

Afterwards police escorted Choudhary's family and supporters from the building amid chanting and further attempts at fighting.

Two vanloads of officers were brought from Aston to keep the two factions apart after clashes outside the courtroom earlier in the day when punches were thrown and drinks hurled.

One of the warring family members was heard to shout "forget about the sentencing, let's fight".

Innocent Yasir Hussain was "sitting duck"

The brutal murder came after a feud between two warring families escalated into in horrific violence, leaving the intended target of the stabbing Morrad Hussain to fear for his life.

Yasir Hussain was described a "sitting duck" when the car he was travelling in was rammed into the front of the Chinese takeaway in Central Drive, Lower Gornal, on December 4.

Delivery driver Morrad Hussain, the intended target, escaped on foot but his cousin, visiting from Burnley, was repeatedly stabbed in the back as he tried to flee.

A police investigation was launched after Yasir Hussain was stabbed to death

Morrad later identified the defendants as being front-seat passengers in the van, both jumping out and brandishing weapons at him.

The murder followed a year of “tit for tat” incidents between two feuding Dudley families, many involving hit and run attacks, Birmingham Crown Court had heard.

On November 26 Choudhary is alleged to have mown down Mohammed Waseem, a member of the opposing family, as he stood on the pavement in Shaw Road, Dudley causing him potentially serious injuries.

As a result Morrad Hussain, a driver for the Golden City takeaway, asked his cousin, who was visiting from his home in Nelson, Burnley, to accompany him on his delivery round so he would not be alone.

Police forensic teams cordon off the Ford Fiesta in which Morrad and Yasir Hussain had been travelling in and the van which rammed the car

The rivalry mainly involved Morrad Hussain, 35, and his brother-in-law Mohammed Waseem, 41, versus Nabeel Choudhary and his father Arshad Choudhary, known as the Castle Cars Group, as they worked out of the Dudley taxi firm, but also involved their extended families and friends.

There were a number of violent incidents between the two factions in 2017-2018, he went on. These involved baseball bat attacks, bricks through windows, and hit-and-runs, one resulting in a broken leg.

Shots had been fired into the home of one of the defendants on a couple of occasions and in March last year another family member was dragged into a car and assaulted with a machete and threatened with a gun.

Both sides reported the incidents to the police which occasionally led to criminal proceedings, the jury heard.

"Broken and destroyed"

Choudhary, of Hope Street, West Bromwich, was convicted by a unanimous verdict on Wednesday of murder and further charges of attempted grievous bodily harm and dangerous driving on November 26 when he drove at another member of the Hussain family in Shaw Road.

His co-accused Akarsh Tasleem, 24, of Broadway West, Walsall, was acquitted of murder and possession of a machete.

Today the court heard a statement from the victim's sister Yasmin Akhtar who described how the family were "broken and destroyed" by the "cruel" death of her "kind and gentle" brother.

Speaking for the family, prosecutor Mr James Curtis, QC, said: "They also dwell on how frightened he must have been in his final moments and how terrible it was for him to die in that way knowing he had done nothing whatsoever to deserve it."

The murder scene outside the Golden City takeaway, in Central Drive, Lower Gornal

Addressing the judge before sentencing, Mr Curtis said: "Nabeel Choudhary was the person whose fight it was. He obtained the use of the van and he was in the front seat, leading the charge.

"It was Nabeel Choudhary who uttered the threat to kill to a member of Morrad Hussain's family. Nabeel Choudhary was the ringleader."

In mitigation his defence barrister Mr Peter Wilcock, QC, said Choudhary had sought medication from his GP for anxiety and panic attacks after he was the victim of an attack in March last year, one of many tit-for-tat incidents between the two sides.

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