Black Country taxi boss 'was shot dead on birthday over long-running family feud'

The manager of a taxi firm was shot dead on his birthday as part of a long-running feud between two Black Country families, a murder trial heard.

Taxi boss Mohammed Haroon Zeb was murdered in January
Taxi boss Mohammed Haroon Zeb was murdered in January

Father-of-four Mohammed Haroon Zeb, known as Haroon, died in hospital after being shot in the head at point-blank range outside his family home in the Queens Cross area of Dudley in January.

Eight people have been accused of conspiring to murder the 39-year-old and appeared in Wolverhampton Crown Court for the start of their trial on Tuesday.

The court heard the killing was the result of a feud between two Dudley families which had raged for years and included ritual beatings, disorder on the street, kidnappings and violent assaults.

The following eight people have all been charged with conspiracy to murder:

  • Hassan Tasleem, 24, of Richmond Road, Dudley

  • Arkarsh Tasleem, 26, of Shaw Road, Dudley

  • Choudhary Naheim Rashid, 47, of Kingswinford Road, Dudley

  • Choudhary Akeel Hussain, 21, of Brook Street, Dudley

  • Gurdeep Sandhu, 23, of Blowers Green Road, Dudley

  • Mohammed Rafiq, 20, of Gammag Street, Dudley

  • Umar Ali, 20, of Blowers Green Road, Dudley

  • Shamraz Ali, 20, of Tanfield Road, Dudley

Hassan Tasleem, Choudhary Naheim Rashid, Gurdeep Sandhu, and Umar Ali have also been charged with possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

And Sanna Iqbal, 27, of Hordern Road, Wolverhampton, has been charged with assisting an offender - her boyfriend Hassan Tasleem.

In his opening statement to the jury, who were sworn in last week, prosecutor James Curtis laid bare the scale of the bitter dispute between the two families - one from Claughton, Dudley, the other residing in Himley.

Police at the scene in Queens Cross, Dudley, where Mr Zeb was shot

He said: "It is the case of the Crown, eight male defendants, together with one other man, who is named in indictment, who has disappeared, agreed to murder a man - called Mohammed Haroon Zeb, sometime we will call him Mr Zeb, sometimes Haroon, he was a youngish man, a husband and a father. An agreement was made to shoot him in the head.

"This feud, which origins have been lost in the midst of time, involved cumulative attacks, revenge, allegations of criminal damage, kidnapping and arguments in court."

He added: "There is the Hussain family from Himley and the Claughton family from Dudley, so called because of the area of Dudley they are from. Not all are blood relatives but they are close knit."

The jury heard how the defendants had obtained a black Volkswagen Golf and had tinted the windows and changed its number plates before heading towards Queens Cross to kill Mr Zeb in front of his family home.

The gun used to shoot him was described by Mr Curtis as a "Colt 4.4, West Wide style revolver".

He said: "The gun uses Smith and Wesson ammunition and is called the Peacemaker for obvious reasons.

"The victim was then shot at point-blank range. He died after a bullet went through his skull and then lodged in his brain. He was brain dead by the time he got to the hospital and died shortly after."

Mr Zeb was deliberately targeted despite not being "active" in the feud, he added. Mr Zeb was described as a family fan who lived in the same home as his children and parents.

Mr Curtis added: "Mohammed Haroon Zeb was 39 when he died, he was killed on his 39th birthday. He was known by his family and friends as 'H' or 'Big H'.

"He was married with children and they lived together at Queens Cross in Dudley with his mother and father. That's where he lived and that's where he died."

The trial continues and is expected to last several weeks.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News