Birmingham & Black Country

Mohammed Saleem death: Man charged with 'terror' murder

Mohammed Saleem
Image caption Mohammed Saleem was stabbed after leaving the Green Lane Mosque

A 25-year-old Ukrainian man has been charged with the "terrorist-related" murder of Birmingham grandfather Mohammed Saleem, police have said.

Mr Saleem, 82, was stabbed as he walked home after prayers from a mosque in Green Lane, Small Heath, on 29 April.

Pavlo Lapshyn, a student from Dnipropetrovsk, is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.

He was arrested following two explosions near West Midlands mosques.

The 25-year-old is still being questioned by detectives investigating the blasts near the mosques in Walsall and Tipton, and a third in Wolverhampton, between 22 June and 12 July.

Mr Lapshyn, who has been in the UK on a temporary work placement since 24 April, was initially arrested on Thursday. He was arrested again on suspicion of the murder of Mr Saleem on Saturday.

'Anxiety and distress'

Police said a post-mortem examination showed Mr Saleem had been stabbed three times in the back in April.

The grandfather of 22 had been taken to Heartlands Hospital but was confirmed dead shortly after arriving there.

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, from West Midlands Police, urged anyone with any information to contact the force.

Mr Beale said: "We understand that these incidents have caused a great deal of anxiety and distress within local communities and I want to thank them for the way they have dealt with the developments and the assistance they have given my officers.

"For the family who lost a beloved grandfather it has been a particularly difficult time and we will continue to support them."

In a statement issued after Mr Lapshyn was charged, West Midlands Police called the killing of Mr Saleem a "terrorist-related murder".

The force also said officers would be travelling to Ukraine in the next few days to learn more about Mr Lapshyn's past history.

Louise Gray, a lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service Counter Terrorism Division, said she had been considering the evidence gathered following an investigation by West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit.

"I have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge Pavlo Lapshyn with one count of murder," she said.