I fear my brother’s killer will take his motive to the grave
FOREVER haunted by his brother’s apparently motiveless murder, Mahsum Begum is now begging for answers before it’s too late.
Tipu Sultan was shot dead in an execution-style gun slaying at his South Shields takeaway more than four years ago.
But to this day, detectives and his family have no idea why the loving dad was gunned down.
Michael McDougall is behind bars after being found guilty of Tipu’s murder, but has never revealed the reason for the attack.
Next week he will be back in court to be sentenced for perverting the course of justice after being convicted of conspiring with notorious John Henry Sayers over a shooting at Tup Tup Palace nightclub.
During the dramatic trial, at London’s Old Bailey, it was revealed that McDougall had been diagnosed with cancer.
And Mahsum has today told he fears the killer could die in prison, taking answers over his brother’s murder to the grave with him.
The 27-year-old said: “We still don’t know why he did it. We’re always going to be wondering ‘why?’ I still hope we find out one day.
“If someone does know we would just ask them to tell us, in confidence, so we can have a bit of closure. I have heard he has got cancer and it does worry me.
“If he is ill and dying he should just tell the truth.”
Dad-of-two Tipu was just 32 when he was shot in the neck at his Herbs & Spice Kitchen takeaway, on Lake Avenue, South Shields.
The shooting happened in full view of Tipu’s father and a chef at the takeaway.
With no suspects and no motive, what was to become an extremely challenging murder probe for Northumbria Police was launched, led by Det Chief Insp John Bent.
Following extensive trawling of CCTV footage, house-to-house Murder victim Tipu Sultan’s brother Mahsum Sultan and grieving parents Aleya Begum and Amin Miah talk at a press conference following the shooting inquiries and a Crimewatch appeal, McDougall and accomplice Michael Mullen were identified as the prime suspects.
Both men denied being involved in the killing, but a jury at Newcastle Crown Court found McDougall guilty of murder, while Mullen was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter.
McDougall, then 47, of Hylton Avenue, South Shields, was jailed for life with a minimum of 34 years, while Mullen, who was 25, of Hawthorne Avenue, South Shields, was locked up for 12 years.
However, the pair’s denials meant Det Chief Insp Bent never got to the bottom of why Tipu was killed.
At the time of their conviction he vowed to continue investigating the murder until a motive was found.
He told the Chronicle that he too was frustrated by the mystery.
“It is something we haven’t forgotten about just because there have been convictions. The motive is something we will be doing our best to try and unearth,” he said.
“I’m frustrated myself. Despite your professional involvement you do get close to people and see the impact on their lives. It’s a vocation to try and find that out and give them some justice and closure.”
Mahsum says he has not given up hope that detectives will get to the bottom of it. “I think the police are still trying. I don’t think they have given up. There was no reason anyone would want him dead.”
McDougall, now 50, found himself back in the dock this summer when he was accused of making a false confession claiming to be the gunman who shot a doorman outside Newcastle’s Tup Tup Palace.
The Old Bailey heard how the claim came after the murderer met John Henry Sayers in HMP Wakefield while Sayers was awaiting trial, having been charged with ordering the gun attack.
Prosecutors claimed Sayers “put McDougall up to” confessing to it. A jury found both guilty of perverting the course of justice, though cleared of the other charges. Both are due to be sentenced on Friday.
The court also heard how McDougall was suffering from cancer and had been undergoing chemotherapy.
Tipu was a popular, well-known member of the community. Mahsum said they have now opened a new takeaway, in the Grindon area of Sunderland, called Sultans.
He added: “We are just trying to get on with things. Hopefully we will get there one day.”
A CCTV image of two people on a motorbike the night takeaway owner Tipu Sultan was shot