The brother of an Uber driver who was brutally murdered after taunting a drunken idiot about eating fast food in his car said he couldn’t recognize his sibling after the attack. Connor McPartland, 20, and Martin Treacy, 18, have been sentenced to life sentences after killing ‘dearly loved’ taxi driver Ali Asghar on the street.
Mr Asghar, described as a ‘genuine gentleman’, had collected the friends in Oldham town center before taking them to Rochdale, where they planned to meet some girls and then go to a Halloween party. Treacy started eating a chicken burger and chips in Mr. Asghar’s new Mercedes.
Asghar pulled out of Queensway after Treacy refused to stop eating, Manchester Crown Court heard. Then Mr Asghar was brutally attacked by the pair, hitting him in the head and kicking.
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He was knocked over and hit his head against the wheel of his own car, and died two weeks later. A judge said Mr Ali was “in no way at fault”.
Earlier in the trip, in the early hours of October 30 last year, there had been a misunderstanding about where the couple wanted to go after McPartland made a spelling mistake in the Uber app. “Ali Asghar was 39 years old when he had the misfortune to meet the two of you, a couple of drunk and straight-talking feathers,” Judge Alan Conrad QC told the killers.
“He was a hardworking and decent man, who did a valuable public service to provide for his family. Your drunken violence for a few minutes ruined your life, but that is nothing compared to the damage you have caused others affected by your savage and brutal behavior.”
Asghar’s brother Azhar Ali said his sibling’s face was “unrecognizable” when he went to visit him at the hospital. He didn’t realize it was his brother on a stretcher until he recognized his shoes.
Ali talked about the devastation his sibling’s death has wrought on their families in the UK and in their native Pakistan. He revealed that he couldn’t bear to tell their mother in Pakistan about her son’s death and lied to her at first.
He waited until weeks later to reveal the news, when his body was flown to Pakistan. A “large portion” of their mother died along with her son, Ali said.
Ali turned to his brother’s killers and said, “How could anyone do this to an innocent person for something that was a mistake made by the attackers themselves? He suffered so many injuries as a result of the attack and then they let him go.” behind there to die as if his life had no meaning at all.
“I am absolutely devastated and will never be able to get those images and thoughts out of my head. My family and I want justice for Ali’s untimely death, we miss him beyond understanding.
“He was the hope and support of our family and we want to know why those responsible who didn’t even know him killed him for no reason.”
McPartland and Treacy, both of whom had no previous convictions, will be in their thirties when they qualify for release. McPartland will serve a minimum of 14-and-a-half years and Treacy a minimum of 13-and-a-half years.
Mr Asghar was one of six children and was born in Pakistan. He studied there and set up a computer company before moving to the UK about ten years ago to support his family.
Ali said their mother was “reassured” that the UK was a safe place to live. “Every day my mother tortures herself for agreeing to let Ali go to the UK and the fact that he has worked so hard to give his parents and family a better life,” he said.
Mr Asghar had flyer delivery jobs and a job at McDonald’s before finding work as a taxi driver. His brother said he worked “insane” hours, often sleeping as little as two hours a day, to support himself and send money to his family in Pakistan.
He bought a house in Rochdale and was able to buy a new Mercedes. “Even the day before he was attacked, he told me that I am very happy with my life because I have managed to complete and achieve all my most important goals in life and now I can finally relax and take it easy but this was not his.”
Ali, who moved to the UK in 2018 to live with his brother, added: “No one deserved to suffer and die like my brother did, and those responsible must be held accountable for their crimes and the harshest punishment they get.” McPartland, of Hollins Road, Oldham, and Treacy, of Gawsworth Close, Oldham, were both found guilty of murder after trial. Treacy had admitted to manslaughter.
The judge said he accepted that they had no intention of killing Mr Asghar and that the attack was not premeditated. He also took their age into account when pronouncing the sentence. He also praised another taxi driver who tried to intervene, and gave him a £500 reward for his candid actions.
Jaime Hamilton QC, who represents Treacy, said: “In many ways this is a young man who might never have bothered the courts had it not been for the circumstances that happened that night.” Mark Rhind QC said McPartland is “ashamed and ashamed” of his behavior and understands the devastation he has caused.
After the hearing, Senior Investigating Officer Phil Reade of the GMP’s Public Protection and Serious Crime Division said: “The senseless actions of Treacy and McPartland that morning were utterly despicable and resulted in a family losing a beloved son and brother.
“These two men are clearly violent individuals and I am relieved that they are now off our street and have time to reflect on their actions and the pain and grief they have caused. The judge today highly praised the taxi driver for his actions in his effort to save Ali’s life and I also want to thank him for his courage.”
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