Manchester

Khuram Shaikh 'stabbed 40 times with broken bottles'

Khuram Shaikh
Image caption Khuram Shaikh was a former prosthetics and orthodontics student at the University of Salford

An aid worker from Greater Manchester who was killed in Sri Lanka was shot and stabbed more than 40 times with broken bottles, an inquest has heard.

Red Cross worker Khuram Shaikh, 32, from Rochdale, was attacked at a hotel while on holiday in Sri Lanka on Christmas Day in 2011.

A witness, giving evidence for the first time, said when he was attacked it was as if he was being "targeted".

The inquest in Heywood recorded a conclusion of unlawful killing.

Sri Lankan politician Sampath Vidanapathirana was jailed for 20 years for killing Mr Shaikh in July 2014.

Lahiru Kelum, U. Sama Deshapriya and Praneeth Chathuranga were also convicted of Mr Shaikh's killing.

Mr Shaikh had been working in Gaza fitting prosthetic limbs, but was holidaying in the resort of Tangalle when he was killed while trying to break up a fight involving the men and a hotel worker.

His girlfriend was also attacked, but she survived.

The trial had been delayed for over two years amid allegations of interference because of Vidanapathirana's political connections, but there was pressure from the UK government for the trial to go ahead.

A number of witnesses did not give evidence at the trial, one of which was Canadian Christopher Stookesberry.

Speaking via Skype, he told the inquest before the attack the women in his group had complained about the group of local men being insulting towards them.

He described them as "grabby" as they tried to grope and make passes at some of the women.

He said when Mr Shaikh was attacked it was as if he was being "targeted" directly as if he had spoken to the men earlier in the evening.

Later that evening he heard gunshots and went to his bedroom in the hotel.

He said from the balcony he could see Mr Shaikh and his girlfriend being attacked with broken bottles.

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