Saqib Hussain, 21, had allegedly threatened to reveal the affair he was having with 24-year-old TikTok influencer Mahek Bukhari’s mother Ansreen, 46.
He was the passenger in friend Mohammed Hashim Ijazuddin’s Skoda when the vehicle was forced off the A46 near Leicester on February 11, 2022. Both men died in the burning wreckage of the car.
At Leicester Crown Court this afternoon, Mahek Bukhari was given life imprisonment with a minimum term of 31 years and eight months.
Her mother, who was also handed a life sentence, will have to serve 26 years and nine months before she is eligible for release.
The victims were in a Skoda chased by Audi and Seat vehicles containing the eight defendants.
Mahek was said to have taken part in the ambush after Mr Hussain threatened to use sexually explicit material to expose a long-running affair he had with her mother Ansreen.
The court was told Mr Ijazuddin’s Skoda Fabia ‘split in two’ and caught fire after hitting a tree at the Six Hills junction in the early hours of February 11 last year.
Mahek Bukhari and her mother, both of George Eardley Close, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, had denied two counts of murder.
Prosecutors said Mr Hussain was ‘lured’ into meeting with the Bukharis in the Tesco car park in Hamilton, Leicester, on the pretence of giving him back the £3,000 he said he had spent on taking his lover out during their tryst.
But Ansreen and Mahek arrived at the arranged meet-up along with the six others in two vehicles, an Audi TT and a Seat Leon.
Mr Hussain then arrived at the car park in a Skoda Fabia, being driven by his friend Mr Ijuzaddin, who had said he would take him as a ‘favour’
CCTV footage showed the Skoda Fabia arrive in the car park and then immediately leave, with the Audi TT and Seat Leon following the Skoda out of the car park two minutes later.
The cars then ultimately ended up in a chase, with analysis by forensic collision investigators showing the Audi had reached speeds of up to 100mph.
The speed of the Skoda at the time of the crash, which was not captured on CCTV, was estimated at being in excess of 80mph.
In a 999 call to police made by front-seat passenger Mr Hussain moments before his death, he said their car was being ‘rammed off the road’ by balaclava-wearing assailants in two pursuing cars.
Impact statements read
In a victim impact statement read out in court by prosecutor Collingwood Thompson KC, Mr Hussain’s dad Sajad, who was in court surrounded by family, described his son as his ‘pride and joy’
He said: “The joy Saqib bought into our lives was immeasurable. His beautiful presence was a gift.
“He brought love and light into the lives of everyone who knew him. He was kind-hearted and selfless, and he was loved by all his friends and family and everyone who knew him.”
He described how Saqib’s mother fell to the floor “crying and screaming ‘my child, my child’”, when they were told by police their son had died.
Mr Ijazuddin’s father Sikander Hayat told the packed courtroom his family have been living a “never-ending nightmare that has shattered our lives”.
Looking at the defendants in the dock, he said: “Hashim was innocent. Totally innocent. One hundred per cent innocent.”
He added: “We are not the same and we have realised we never will be so carefree and happy again. My heart has been ripped out.
“Why did this happen to him? He did not know his murderers or what awaited him in that Tesco car park.
“We have lost our son in the worst possible way. The fear he must have felt in the moments leading up to his death. He was left with his friend to burn. It is heart-shattering.”
28 hours spent thinking about the verdicts
Jurors were out for 28 hours before finding Mahek Bukhari, 24, and her mother Ansreen Bukhari, 46, guilty of two counts of murder at the start of August.
Rekhan Karwan, 29, and Raees Jamal, 23, were also found guilty of two counts of murder.
Natasha Akhtar, 23, Ameer Jamal, 28, and Sanaf Gulamustafa, 23, were all found not guilty of murder, but guilty of two counts of manslaughter.
In mitigation for Mahek, barrister Christopher Millington KC told the court on Friday that his client was somewhat immature and had been left in an ‘invidious’ position by her mother’s affair, but she had not intended the outcome of what happened.
He said: “She was driving an Audi which was a courtesy car that could be traced back to her.
“Neither Ansreen Bukhari or Mahek Bukhari wore anything covering their faces.
“The evidence does not establish an intent to kill.”
Mitigating for Ansreen, Patrick Upward KC said his client was a ‘respectable family woman’ for many years.
He said: “She had been under pressure from Saqib. There were threats being made to express what had happened between them.
“On at least one occasion, Saqib did actually send a message to Ansreen’s husband inviting him to become a witness to what had been going on, but the message was deleted by Mahek.
“Ansreen deceived a lot of people – her husband, her son, her family, her friends and we have seen the heart-wrenching effect this has had on the family of the two young men.
“As a mature woman, as a mother, she knows the effect of what she has done. She will have to spend the rest of her life living in the shadow of her shame.”
In tributes released after the defendants were convicted of murder last month, Mr Ijazuddin’s family said in a statement: “Everyone who knew Hashim loved him. His death is not just a massive loss to our family but also to our whole community.
“Hashim would always put others first and wouldn’t hesitate to help others if they needed it.
“On that tragic day, he was simply helping his friend and this resulted in his death.
“It has been extremely painful not only losing Hashim at such a young age but also in the circumstances in which we lost him.”
A football tournament held in his memory in Banbury last month raised thousands of pounds for charity.