Shopkeeper's family still wait for answers five years after brutal killing at Dudley takeaway
It is close to five years – an eternity for his devastated family – since the life of shopkeeper Yasir Hussain was snuffed out in a sickening orgy of violence on a Black Country street.
Pounced on by a baying, armed mob as he waited outside a Dudley takeaway, the popular 34-year-old was cornered and killed.
The savage crime – segments captured on grainy CCTV footage – has no place in our district. It has no place in our time. It has no place in civilised society.
Yet, bar one individual, those who hunted down Yasir Hussain have to date got away with it. And with each day, hopes of justice fade. The blood on the hands of perpetrators has long been scrubbed clean.
Seven men wielding an assortment of weapons, including a machete, spilled from a van on the night of December 4, 2018. Yasir was stabbed in the back three times by three different weapons.
As Detective Inspector Jim Colclough said in 2019: “So, potentially there are three men out there we are looking for that delivered these three separate blows – one of which proved fatal.”
They remain “out there”. They remain shielded by their communities. And, CCTV tells us, there are at least six individuals who played a part in the fatal attack.
And with the anniversary of the brutal murder drawing close, we ask: where are those lost individuals?
The injustice is heightened by the fact Yasir Hussain, who travelled from his home in Nelson, Lancashire, to visit relatives here, was a wholly innocent man, oblivious to the full extent of the bitter feud between families that would claim his life in a volcanic eruption of violence.
His was a tragic “wrong place at the wrong time” scenario. On that terrible night, he made the mistake of taking a ride with cousin Morrad Hussain, the gang’s intended target. Morrad managed to escape his pursuers, Yasir did not.
He was the victim of an ambush. He was, to coin a phrase used at the time, a “sitting duck”, corralled in a shop doorway by the gang. The seeds of the bad blood remain unknown – it is one of a series of unanswered questions, but it ran deep and the ill-feeling burned like acid.
At the Birmingham Crown Court sentencing of the lone man convicted of murder, 21-year-old Nabeel Choudhury who received a minimum of 26 years, it again threatened to spill into violence.
There were clashes outside the courtroom with punches and drinks thrown, two van loads of officers were called in to keep factions apart and a police escort led the killer’s family and supporters from the building.