78 Years For Kidnap Gang

28 March 2011, 13:18 | Updated: 28 March 2011, 13:27

Murder was to be a family affair for brothers Mohammed Riaz and Sharif Mohammed.

Their victim, Riaz's one time brother-in-law, was kidnapped and taken to the flat of their sister where he was tortured and then killed.

Afterwards his body was dismembered and days later his thumb dropped out of the sky after being picked up by a bird.

Today Riaz and his brother and sister along with three others who had helped in the kidnapping and subsequent cover up were jailed for a total of 78 years.

Riaz, 34, who had put the gang together was jailed for thirty years and his brother Sharif, 37, received a 26 year sentence.

Their sister Sabra Suntana, 36, whose flat was used for the killing and dismemberment received a three year sentence.

Her boyfriend Amirzada Hussain 37 was cleared of the murder but convicted of Mr Ahmad's manslaughter. He was jailed for 12 years

Two teenagers who helped kidnap the victim were each jailed for three and a half year.

St Albans crown court heard how Riaz of no fixed address had become obsessed with locating his estranged wife, Nahid who was Mr Ahmad's younger sister.

She had walked out on Riaz in 2008 because of his violence taking their three children with her to stay at a series of secret addresses.

Riaz became obsessed with tracking her down and waged a hate campaign against members of her family to try and discover where she was in hiding.

First he burgled the home in Nottinghamshire of a sister of Nahid and sent her menacing text messages.

When that didn't work he turned his attention towards Mr Ahmad 40 a restaurant worker who lived with is wife Farah Munir in Radlett Road, Watford, Herts.

Mahmood was one of only two members of his family who knew where his sister was.

In the weeks leading up to the murder in March of last year, Riaz noted where he was working, the time he left the restaurant in London's Aldgate and what time he would get back home.

In the early hours of March 7 last year, Riaz with the help of two teenagers, Faisal Chowdhury, 17, at the time and from Newham in London and Arnold Yousaf, 18, from East London grabbed Mr Ahmad after he arrived outside his home having finished work.

He was bundled into the back of a car and driven to Sabra Sultana's flat at Redo House in Ilford, East London.

During a 10 week trial the jury heard how for the next two hours Mahmood was held prisoner a the flat and tortured  by Riaz and later helped by his brother Sharif Mohammed who was summoned to the flat.

Terrible injuries were inflicted with a  knife and bottle.

Only two years earlier in March 2008 Riaz had attended Mr Ahmad's wedding to his wife, but he showed him no mercy.

Riaz was determined to find out where his sister and his children were in hiding.

But to the end her brother was determined to protect her and refused to divulge her whereabouts.

It was to cost him his life in the flat.

The court heard following the death Riaz, his brother and sister and her boyfriend were all involved in covering up the murder.

Carpets were removed from the flat. Wallpaper was stripped from the walls. A sofa was removed and the bathroom was gutted of all furniture and tiles as the gang tried to make sure there was no forensic evidence to be found.

It's thought Mr Ahmad was dismembered at the flat.

Tools were acquired for the job and when the thumb was found three days later in a car park in Ilford having been dropped by a bird it was discovered it had been severed with a mechanical saw like a band saw.

Apart from the thumb no other remains have ever been found.

Despite the clean up at the flat, police were able to find traces of Mr Ahmad's blood there and one by one the gang were arrested

Riaz was found guilty of murder, kidnap, false imprisonment and three counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Sharif Mohammed from Vista Drive, Ilford was found guilty of murder, false imprisonment and two counts of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Chowdhury was convicted of kidnap and false imprisonment and Yousaf from Cann Hall Road in East London was convicted of kidnap and false imprisonment.

Hussain, 37, from Churston Avenue, Plaistow was cleared of the murder but found guilty of manslaughter. He was also convicted of false imprisonment and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Sabra Sultana, 36, from Kiwi Terrace in Ilford was found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Passing sentence on the gang Mr Justice Cook told Riaz he had been the "key architect" behind what happened.

The judge told the brothers "Following the death you both made arrangements to cut up the body and dispose of it."