Manchester

Men jailed for fatal laptop robbery in Longsight

Ali Mahmood posing with gun
Image caption Mahmood spent the stolen cash at the Trafford Centre

An armed robber who shot a student dead for a laptop and £10,000 has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 27 years.

Ali Mahmood, 30, of Longsight in Manchester, admitted shooting 30-year-old Khurram Ashraf in the stomach outside a local money exchange in 2009.

Two other men, Junaid Anjum and Sufyan Butt, both of Longsight, admitted robbery at an earlier hearing.

They were jailed for 18 and 13 months respectively at Manchester Crown Court.

Mr Ashraf, who had been working part time in the Longsight money exchange to fund his studies, died in hospital from a single gunshot wound.

The gang pulled up in a BMW and another car shortly before their victim closed the shop in Stamford Road on 3 December 2009.

At 1815 GMT Mr Ashraf and a colleague left with their employer Mohammed Waqas who was carrying a bag containing a laptop, about £10,000 and some personal documents.

'Dying in his arms'

Mahmood, who admitted murder, robbery, possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition, demanded the bag saying he had a gun, police said.

Mr Waqas refused, threw the bag to Mr Ashraf, who went to run off with it but Mahmood turned and blasted his victim in the stomach leaving him to bleed to death.

He was taken to hospital where medics carried out emergency surgery.

Meanwhile his killer met back up with the other offenders within 15 minutes of the robbery and the group went to Oldham and bought some cannabis, police said.

Image caption Khurram Ashraf studied business while working part-time

Anjum later hid the laptop bag in the yard of an empty property at the back of his house. He had £700 of the stolen cash on him when he was arrested the next day.

Jobless Mahmood took his girlfriend on a spending spree at the Trafford Centre, buying clothes and a mobile phone.

Passing sentence, Judge Andrew Gilbart QC, said: "It was a cold-blooded and ruthless use of a gun to seize the day's takings of a local business.

"You stood in front of him and shot him down."

Det Ch Insp Harry Harrison said: "Mahmood had no desire to work and earn a wage yet thought nothing of taking from those who did.

"When people tried to protect their livelihood, he went so far as to kill a man.

"It goes without saying that the impact of having an employee and friend lie dying in his arms will never leave Mr Waqas, but the result should provide some comfort to him and Khurram's family."

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