Dudley taxi boss shot dead in escalating feud between families, trial told

An escalating long-running feud between two families resulted in the murder of a taxi firm manager in Dudley, a court 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 after being shot in the head in a drive-by attack in the Queens Cross area of the town on January 31, 2021.

Mr James Curtis KC, prosecuting, said the 39-year-old was killed as a result of a dispute with another group that escalated from street disorder with knives to murder and maiming.

Hassan Tasleem, 24, of Richmond Road; Choudhary Naheim Rashid, 48, of Kingswinford Road; Gurdeep Sandhu, 24; Umar Ali, 21, both of Blowers Green Road; Akarsh Tasleem, 26, of Shaw Road; Choudhary Akeel Hussain, 22, of Brook Street; Mohamad Umar Rafiq, 20, of Gammage Street; Shamraz Ali, 20, of Tanfield Road; and Zaine Hussain, 22, Aston Road, all Dudley, are accused of conspiracy to murder Mr Zeb.

Mr James Curtis KC, prosecuting, told the trial at Leicester Crown Court sitting at Loughborough: "It is the crown's case that the nine defendants were in it together with certainly one other man, who is not here.

"They agreed to murder Mohammed Haroon Zeb who was a youngish man, a husband and a father by shooting him in the head in a drive by shooting. The murder was carefully planned and was carried out, we say with a high degree of precision.

"The first defendant Hassan Tasleem is alleged by us to be the man who actually shot the victim. He had the gun and pulled the trigger from the car."

Mr Curtis told the jury that the murder was a "planned execution" with at least three others Rashid, Sandhu and Umar Ali alleged to be in the car at the moment of the shooting, and that a fifth man fled abroad to Pakistan afterwards.

"The murder was the latest spat in a long-running and escalating feud between two families in Dudley. It happened after a series of tit for tat allegations, perceived revenge atrocities, incidents of criminal damage passing back and forth.

"The allegations on both sides are inextricably linked between the two family groups going back over months and years. One atrocity by one group led to reprisals from another group. They didn't let it go," he said.

The court heard that the victim was shot dead days after Choudhary Akeel Hussain suffered a leg injury when he was struck by a car on January 20. That incident followed the Court of Appeal upholding the murder conviction of a man called Nabeel Choudhary who was found guilty of the murder of Yasir Hussain, 34, in Lower Gornal, in 2018.

Hassan Tasleem, Rashid, Sandhu and Umar Ali are also accused of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life. Hassan Tasleem, Sandhu, Akarsh Tasleem, Choudhary Akeel Hussain, Rafiq, Shamraz Ali and Zaine Hussain are also accused of perverting the course of justice.

All deny the allegations. The trial continues.

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