Cab driver may be key wit­ness in mur­der probe

Rochdale Observer - - NEWS - Sam.yarwood@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @@sam­yarwood89

APRI­VATE hire driver could hold vi­tal in­for­ma­tion about the al­leged mur­der of a young man from Rochdale.

The body of Mo­hammed Aftab was dis­cov­ered on a coun­try lane in Small­bridge on Christ­mas Day morn­ing.

Po­lice say the 21-yearold had suf­fered mul­ti­ple head in­juries and stab wounds to the neck.

A mur­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched and de­tec­tives have now re­leased images of a cab whose driver could be a key wit­ness in the case.

The CCTV was taken from out­side The Bull’s Head pub on Hal­i­fax Road in Rochdale be­tween 10.45pm and 11pm on Christ­mas Eve.

The car is be­lieved to be a sil­ver, grey or gold Toy­ota Aven­sis with pri­vate hire sig­nage.

A force spokesman said: “Po­lice are con­tin­u­ing to ap­peal for wit­nesses in par­tic­u­lar the driver of the car in the CCTV images, who is not be­lieved to have had any in­volve­ment in the mur­der.”

Last week, an es­ti­mated 1,000 peo­ple at­tended fu­neral prayers for Mo­hammed at the Bi­lal mosque in Wardle­worth.

In a state­ment is­sued through GMP, his fam­ily said they had been left heart­bro­ken by the young man’s death.

They said: “There are no words to de­scribe what has hap­pened, what we have lost.

“We ask as a fam­ily why some­one so vi­brant and full of life has now been taken from us?

“This has been a dev­as­tat­ing loss to all the fam­ily.

“You see these things hap­pen to other peo­ple, but can never com­pre­hend it when it hap­pens to you.

“We all loved him from the bot­tom of our hearts and will miss him.

“No­body had a bad word to say about Aftab. This has left all his friends and fam­ily heart­bro­ken.

“In the last few days we have had unimag­in­able sup­port from peo­ple in­clud­ing those we have not known.

“We are thank­ful for ev­ery­one’s love and sup­port they have shown, es­pe­cially those from the Rochdale com­mu­nity.

“My only con­cern is that no fam­ily should en­dure what we have, the loss of a young man who had his whole life ahead of him.”

Po­lice were called to Dye­house Lane just af­ter 8.15am on De­cem­ber 25.

Ja­son Byrnes, 26, of Waith­lands Road, Rochdale was later ar­rested and has since been charged with mur­der.

Any­one with any in­for­ma­tion should con­tact po­lice on 0161 856 9908, 101 or Crimestop­pers, anony­mously, on 0800 555 111.

●●Mo­hammed Aftab was found dead on a coun­try lane in Small­bridge on Christ­mas Day

●●Po­lice be­lieve the driver of this pri­vate hire cab caught on CCTV out­side the Bull’s Head on Hal­i­fax Road could hold vi­tal in­for­ma­tion about the al­leged mur­der

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