Cab driver may be key witness in murder probe
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