Man jailed for dog-fouling murder

Mustafa Elsherkisi Mustafa Elsherkisi was convicted of racially-aggravated murder

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A man who murdered his neighbour, during a row over dog fouling in Edinburgh, has been sentenced.

Mustafa Elsherkisi, 49, was ordered to serve at least 15 years before he can ask to be freed, after being found guilty of racially aggravated murder.

Elsherkisi, a Libyan national, stabbed Mohammed Idris Mirza, 47, in Stenhouse Gardens North on 26 May.

A jury rejected Elsherkisi's claims that Mr Mirza's death was "a terrible accident".

At the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Roger Craik QC told Elsherkisi the murder was "completely unnecessary".

An earlier trial heard how neighbours in Stenhouse Gardens North, Edinburgh, clashed over the mess left by Elsherkisi's dog, a Japanese Akita.

Deportation recommended

The dead man's widow, Pakistan-born Farzana Mirza, 40, said she had been afraid of Elsherkisi since the first day he had moved into a flat near her home.

She said his dog regularly fouled the garden and she had made a number of complaints.

Care worker and mum-of-two, Mrs Mirza said: "I went to put the laundry out and everywhere there is dog foul and I asked him to clean it up because it is the laundry area and he just shut the door."

The dead man's brother, Mohammed Iqbal Mirza, described how he had witnessed an argument which seemed to end with his brother heading upstairs.

Then Elsherkisi came out of his flat, swore at Mirza and called him a "Paki".

Mohammed Iqbal Mirza said his brother collapsed and he saw blood gushing out of his chest.

Passing sentence, the judge said Elsherkisi had returned to his own house to pick up a knife before launching the attack.

Solicitor advocate Maurice Smyth, defending Elsherkisi, said: "He is genuinely remorseful for the catastrophe which has engulfed Mr Mirza's family."

The judge also recommended that Elsherkisi should be deported when he is ultimately freed.

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