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Gunman went shopping after killing

A "cold-blooded" killer who blasted a brave shop worker to death in a £10,000 raid and then went shopping with his girlfriend has been jailed for a minimum 27 years.

Unemployed Mohammed Ali Mahmood, 30, ambushed Khurram Ashraf and his boss as they closed up and left with the day's takings from a money transfer shop in Longsight, Manchester, on December 3 last year.

Mahmood, known as "Crazy Ali" by locals, armed with a Russian Baikal pistol, confronted the pair, demanding: "Give me the bag, I have a gun!"

Mohammed Waqas, the shop owner, threw the cash, which was in a laptop bag, to Mr Ashraf, 30, and both ran for cover, Manchester Crown Court heard. Mahmood was "surprised" by the bravery of Mr Ashraf, 30, a Pakistani national who worked part-time at the shop, Global Forex Ltd, while he studied at college.

The victim threw the cash bag to the pavement as he was cornered between two parked cars by the killer, who "panicked" and "fired without thinking", blasting Mr Ashraf in the stomach, before picking up the bag and running away, the court heard. He died the following day.

Meanwhile, Mahmood took his girlfriend shopping to the nearby Trafford Centre, splashing out £140 on a new mobile phone, £390 on leather jackets from Selfridges and £90 on shoes.

Mahmood, a father-of-two who has previous convictions for street robberies, burglary and assault, was later tracked down by police, who recovered his mobile phone which showed photos of himself posing with the murder weapon. They also found £5,920 of the stolen cash under his bed at the family home on Birch Lane, Longsight.

He later pleaded guilty to murder, robbery and possession of a firearm and ammunition, and was given a mandatory life sentence, being told he must serve a minimum of 27 years before parole.

Passing sentence, Judge Andrew Gilbart QC, said: "It was a cold-blooded and ruthless use of a gun to seize the day's takings of a local business. You stood in front of him and shot him down."

Junaid Anjum, 26, and Sufyan Butt, 26, both from Longsight, pleaded guilty to robbery. Anjum was jailed for 18 months and Butt was jailed for 13 months.


From Belfast Telegraph