Aamir Siddiqi: Hitmen Guilty Of Teen's Murder

Tom Parmenter, Sky News Correspondent

Two hitmen who managed to kill the wrong person have been found guilty of murder.

Ben Hope, 39, and Jason Richards, 38, were convicted of the murder of talented student Aamir Siddiqi.

Aamir, 17, was savagely stabbed to death by the pair after opening the door of his family home in Roath, Cardiff.

Prosecutors said drug users Hope and Richards had been paid £1,000 each to kill a local businessman who was involved in a property dispute.

They planned to carry out the "hit" at lunchtime on Sunday, April 11, 2010 and went to the house they believed belonged to the businessman.

Their intended target lived on Shirley Road in an affluent part of the city, instead they went to Ninian Road - the adjacent street. 

As he was expecting his Koran teacher to call, Aamir opened the door of his parents' home. Within seconds the masked men started attacking him with a knife.

They said nothing during the attack and the court heard how they made strange "howling noises".

Aamir's parents rushed to the front door and desperately tried to pull the men off their son.

Both parents were injured in the attack but they could not save their son, who had suffered fatal injuries.

Shortly after the killing, both defendants went shopping with their blood money.

Richards bought a new pair of trainers and a laptop computer.

A man who is still wanted in connection with the investigation is waiting to be extradited from India.

Outside the court, Aamir's sister Umbareen read a statement from her family.

"Aamir was a beautiful person with a bright future. If he was still with us he would be looking forward to turning 21 this year and completing his law degree," said Ms Siddiqi.

"We are pleased today that justice has finally been done and we can finally start to deal with the reality of losing Aamir," she said.

South Wales Police scoured an enormous amount of CCTV in their murder investigation.

If officers had viewed every frame they collected it would have taken eight years to watch.

Detective Superintendent Paul Hurley, of the South Wales Police Specialist Crime Investigations Team, said: "Aamir Siddiqi was a kind and talented young man who had a bright future ahead of him.

"He continues to be sorely missed by his family and all those fortunate to have known him.

"Despite being left totally devastated at losing their beloved son and brother in such tragic circumstances, Aamir's loving family have shown tireless strength and remarkable dignity throughout this ordeal.

"The investigation team was overwhelmed not only by their support but also that of the community who came forward with information and played an invaluable role during such as complex inquiry.

"South Wales Police would like to thank Aamir's family for their support, all the prosecution witnesses, and the community for ensuring the successful outcome here today at Swansea Crown Court."

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