A drug dealer who stabbed a dad-of-three to death in the heart over a spilled drink before celebrating with a McDonald’s feast has been jailed for life.
Haseeb Mirza, 26, was today jailed over the murder of Malik Hussain, 35, after stabbing him repeatedly following a row outside a Birminhgham nightclub.
The court was told both he and his brother were drug dealers.
At 11.20pm on July 12, 2019, the pair had been sitting in a car outside Pandora's Box night club in Digbeth waiting for customers.
Mr Hussain and his friend, Adeel Yousaf, were looking to buy cocaine and got into their vehicle.
But the the brothers then received a call to meet another customer so the car drove out of the Digbeth area.
At 11.19pm the Volkswagen Golf they were travelling in stopped in Baker Street, Sparkhill, where Mr Hussain was attacked in the back seat with a knife.
At one point Mr Yousaf tried to protect himself and his friend before the defendant pushed Mr Hussain out of the vehicle and then stamped on him.
Passers-by tried to help Mr Hussain but he could not be saved and a post-mortem examination revealed he had suffered four stab wounds.
Adeeb Mirza took a flight to Islamabad the same day but his brother was traced three days later to a Travelodge in Yardley where he was arrested.
Haseeb Mirza, who denied murder, told the court he was subordinate to his brother in their drug dealing activities.
Mirza admitted stamping on Mr Hussain as he lay dying on the pavement before fleeing the scene, but claim he didn't think he was seriously injured.
Heroic bystanders tried in vain to save Mr Hussain, and rescue teams dashed to the street in the inner city area of Sparkhill, but the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
The court heard how brothers Haseeb and Adeeb Mirza took a taxi back to the scene following the horrific incident and then told the driver to take them to a fast-food restaurant.
Adeeb Mirza later fled from the UK to Pakistan – his brother also tried to leave the country but could not get a visa, the court heard.
Hasseb desperately tried to flee the country but police tracked him down to a Travelodge in Yardley.
When he was arrested, cocaine and cannabis with a street value of £1,000 was found stashed under a mattress in his room.
And during a search of his home in Small Heath, two Rambo-style knives were found which were used in the murder.
Mirza was found guilty of murder following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday, and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 21 years today.
His eldest child said in a statement to the court her father's death had left the family "broken."
Birmingham Live reports sentencing Judge Kristina Montgomery QC told the court today both brothers had killed Mr Hussain in a 'brutal and senseless attack' over a spilled drink.
She told Mirza: "Malik Hussain was a father of three children and they like his widow and close family are utterly devastated by his loss.
You Mirza must be sentenced for his murder. He was killed by you and brother by a particularly brutal and senseless attack and left to die on a busy road."
"I can not be sure you caused by your own hand the infliction of fatal injuries
You and he were a mobile drug dealing team. There were no secrets between you.
I am sure you knew he was prepared to use that knife. Having heard the evidence I am sure the violence erupted spontaneously as a result of the disagreements in the car. Malik Hussain spilling a drink. I can not be satisfied he intended he should be killed.
"It was a large hunting knife with a ferocious blade. It was used to inflict four separate wounds.
"Even when he was lying fatally injured you stamped on his upper body
"It was utterly merciless. You did all you could to conceal your tracks."
The judge told the court there had been 'heroics' as bystanders tried to save Mr Hussain's life.
Less than 24-hours after the killing, a second offender fled the country and is still being hunted by police.
The court heard the defendant had previous convictions including for possessing cannabis with intent to supply and that he had been imprisoned for nine months for dangerous driving.
Mirza also had a conviction for aggravated vehicle taking.
Defence lawyer Patrick Upward told the court the two brothers came from a respectable family, adding that the defendant was "in thrall to his brother" and lived with a profound disability.
He said the defendant had no previous violence convictions, describing the murder as a spontaneous event that blew up out of all proportion.
Mr Upward said: "As the events progressed the younger brother got out the car armed with a knife. It was the younger brother who said pull him out of the vehicle.
It was a distressing thing for anyone to see. He was unaware that Mr Hussain had been terribly injured by his brother’s actions."
During today's hearing, the victim's wife Sophie Rafiq said: “Sophie Rafiq, his wife, said: "Malik’s death has had a devastating effect on our children. They all miss their father a great deal. Words can not explain the pain and anguish."
The victim's eldest child also gave a statement. She said: "My younger brother and sister have lost our dad in the most horrific way. I had to watch my mother cry herself to sleep because she misses him so much.
Our family is broken."
Mr Hussain’s sister, Nagina Tasawar said: "The actions of these two brothers have shattered our entire family. Our mother has become so lost.
We have lost the kindest humblest brother. Malik was a kind-hearted son brother and father.
Life will never be the same without him. His smile was enough to brighten up the whole room. We miss everything about him. Malik was the brave one in our family."
Detective Inspector Michelle Allen, of West Midlands Police, said yesterday: “Our investigations are very much ongoing and we are doing all in our power to trace the second man in the car and bring him before the courts."
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