12 Sep 2012

‘Incompetent’ Siddiqi murder suspects targeted wrong man

Home Affairs Correspondent

Two men accused of killing 17-year-old Aamir Siddiqi carried out a botched “contract killing” at the wrong address in Cardiff, the prosecution alleges.

Two Cardiff men are accused of “staggering incompetence and wickedness” after it was alleged they had taken part in a botched “contract killing”.

Jason Richards, 38, and Ben Devere Hope, 39, pleaded not guilty to murder at the start of a trial at Swansea Crown Court. The trial is expected to last several months.

Aamir Siddiqi, a 17-year-old schoolboy and aspiring law student, was at home on Sunday afternoon, 11 April 2010, when the attack took place. His parents, in the house at the time, tried to intervene but were unable to stop what prosecutor Patrick Harrington alleged was a cowardly and brutal attack by “heroin-fuelled contract killers”.

Mr Harrington accused Mr Richards and Mr Hope of targeting the wrong house in the Roath area of Cardiff two years ago when, “howling” throughout the attack, they allegedly stabbed to death Aamir Siddiqi.

Aamir’s parents, Sheikh Iqbal Ahmed and Parveen Ahmad, were in court today with their son-in-law to hear the case against the two men.

Mr Harrington described the suspects as being “slight in build but fierce in bloodlust”. He alleged the men were recruited by a businessman seeking revenge over a collapsed property deal.

The prosecutor also claimed the suspects were supposed to target a house in Shirley Road, in the Roath area of Cardiff, but went instead to a house in a neighbouring street, resulting in what he Mr Harrington called a “colossal and fatal mistake for young Aamir”.

The attack lasted just seconds. Suspect Ben Hope allegedly bought himself a new laptop and trainers afterward.