Man jailed for severed thumb murder
A man arrested after his brother-in-law's severed thumb fell from the sky has been jailed for 30 years for his murder.
Mahmood Ahmad's left thumb was caught on CCTV falling, possibly from a bird's beak, to the ground in Ilford, east London, where it was found by a security guard on March 10 last year, said police.
Three days earlier, Mr Ahmad, 41, a fast food worker, vanished from outside his home in Watford, Hertfordshire.
He had been kidnapped by Mohammed Riaz, 34, and taken to an address in Ilford, where he was tortured.
Police believe he was hacked to pieces with possibly a butcher's saw but his body has never been found.
At St Albans Crown Court, Mr Justice Cooke jailed Riaz for life with a minimum 30-year term.
Detective Chief Inspector Melanie Burn, of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire major crime unit, led the investigation.
She said: "The behaviour of Riaz and his conspirators is nothing short of barbaric and cruel.
"They also chose not to plead guilty at the earliest opportunity and have put Mahmood's family through the horrendous ordeal of their gruesome actions being played out in court.
"Our thoughts are with Mahmood's family at this time. I would like to praise them for their courage and support throughout the investigation and trial. I hope these sentences will bring them some sense of justice and in time enable them to move forward."