Sentence appeal for sectarian murder is refused

The appeal to reduce convicted murderer Tamveer Ahmed’s 27 year sentence was quashed today at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Ahmed, 32, from Bradford in Yorkshire, murdered 40 year old shopkeeper Asas Shah in a brutal knife attack which left Shah with injuries similar to those seen in a road traffic accident.

Shah’s assistant and brother both witnessed the attack and saw Ahmed repeatedly stabbing Mr Shah. When they  attempted to intervene, Shah’s brother managed to remove the knife from Ahmed who then went on to kick and stamp on Shah’s body. The incident took place in the victim’s shop in Glasgow in March this year.

Ahmed told authorities he murdered Shah because of the posts he had made on social media claiming he was a prophet, which Ahmed said ‘disrespected Islam’. The two men, both born in Pakistan, belong to different sects of Islam. Ahmed is a Sunni Muslim whilst Shah was part of a minority sect called Ahmadi. Throughout the trial Ahmed had shown no sign of remorse or regret over the crime, claiming it was his duty to kill him, and should a similar situation arise he would do the same again.

Following Mr Shah’s murder, hundreds of floral tributes were left in his memory by members of the community in Southside Glasgow. He was known to many people as a peaceful man, and was well liked.

The defence argued that, as Ahmed cooperated fully with the police and plead guilty from the beginning, his sentence should be reduced. Ahmed’s solicitor compared the case to other murder trials in Scotland in which the accused attempted to conceal or dispose of the body and mislead police. One case that he referred to was that of Paige Doherty, the 15-year-old school girl who was stabbed 61 times by Deli-owner John Leathem. He then tried to conceal her body in a nearby wooded area in Clydebank. Leathem was also given a sentence of 27 years.

However, the Judge agreed with the previous sentencing which had established that Ahmed carried out a pre-meditated attack by travelling from Bradford to Glasgow to see a man whom he did not know. He added that no one is entitled to execute those who have different beliefs.

As Ahmed was led out of court he turned to the public gallery smiling and made gestures which were returned by some members of the gallery.