Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford Peri Peri chicken shop shooting: Man jailed for life

Aktar Miah
Image caption Aktar Miah said he had not intended to fire the sawn-off shotgun

A man who shot a car dealer in a restaurant has been jailed for life for attempted murder.

Aktar Miah, 25, took a sawn-off shotgun in to the Royal Peri Peri chicken shop, in Midland Road, Bedford, following an earlier row with another customer.

Luton Crown Court heard Miah fired the weapon at Mazhar Iqbal in the early hours of 23 November, leaving him with pellet wounds to his face.

Miah, of Queens Road, Newham, London, must serve at least 12 years.

'Cool guy'

Judge Richard Foster told him: "Because of some disagreement you armed yourself with a loaded sawn off shotgun. It is clear you had ready access to weapons and that you are no stranger to violence.

"You were the cool guy in town, driving around in your dark coloured BMW and you easily influenced others.

"I am satisfied you went into that restaurant with the intention to kill, otherwise why would the gun have been loaded. It is exceptionally fortunate that your victim was not killed."

Image caption Fahim Khan was with Miah at the time of the attack

During their trial the jury heard the target of the shooting was car dealer Mazhar Iqbal, who was at the restaurant that night.

They saw the moment captured on the restaurant's CCTV system when Mr Miah came in through the front door of the kebab shop in the early hours and fired at his victim.

The shooting followed an earlier incident at the restaurant involving Miah and two co-defendants - Fahim Khan, 18, of Fenlake Road, Bedford, and a 17-year-old from Bedford.

Miah, Khan, and the 17-year-old all pleaded not guilty to attempted murder. Miah was convicted by a majority verdict of 10 to two and the two teenagers were cleared.

They were also found not guilty of the less serious alternative charge of wounding with intent which they had denied.

All three denied jointly possessing a shotgun with intent to endanger life. Miah was found guilty and the charge the others found not guilty.

But Khan and the 17-year-old were found guilty of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and given three-year youth custody sentences.

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