From a little girl 'wishing to be with her uncle' to mothers in agony without their sons - Rashane Douglas has left two families utterly broken

Haider Shah [left] and Joshua Clark died after being stabbed in Halifax in October last year
-Credit: (Image: West Yorkshire Police/Family handout)


The families of Joshua Clark and Haider Shah left a courtroom in tears as they bravely faced their "remorseless" murderer and told him the agonising impact his heartless actions had had on their lives.

From a seven year old girl "wishing she could be with her uncle", to two heeartbroken mothers who do not know how to live without their sons, Rashane Douglas' ruthless actions has left two families utterly broken. He was jailed for life on Tuesday with a minimum term of 28 years for their murders and the wounding of their friend Brandon Coup, who he also stabbed.

A trial at Bradford Crown Court heard he stabbed the three men in a jealous rage after seeing Haider speak with a former love interest inside the Maggie's nightclub in Halifax on October 1 last year. His co-accused Yaseen Iqbal was handed a sentence of 12 months in a Young Offenders' Institution for assisting an offender.

Read more: Live as Rashane Douglas faces life imprisonment for Halifax murders of Joshua Clark and Haider Shah

As she took to the witness box on Tuesday, Rachel Clark, Joshua's mother paid tribute to her "beautiful boy" and said he was "all she needed". As she addressed Douglas before he was jailed, Ms Clark said she had Josh when she was 17 and the pair "grew up together".

Joshua Clark
Joshua Clark -Credit:West Yorkshire Police/Family handout

She said: "I spent all of my adult life with him and we grew up together. I always envisaged growing old with him. Josh was my only child and always thought having no other children wouldn't affect my life. He was all I ever needed.

"He gave me the proud title of mum - something I'll never hear from him again. I'll never again receive another mother's day card or thoughtful birthday gift...My kind, caring, loving and compassionate boy Joshua...Not just my son but my best friend...We would laugh and joke together...My new normal is trying to navigate my life without Josh in it..."

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Ms Clark spoke of her hopes to see Joshua marry and start a family. She added: "The cruel actions of an individual not only took my son but shattered my sense of self...I found myself trapped in the past, clinging desperately to a memory, as this was all I have left to cling onto...Losing Josh has impacted on every single aspect of my life. My family completely broken...

"Since the moment that barbaric murderer stuck his knife into my son's chest, he has shown no remorse. For what he has done, I am the one who will serve a life sentence for the rest of my days."

The heartbroken mother said her birthday was spent watching the trial of a "cruel coward" who murdered her son, before Haider's sister Mariam stood up in court and faced the same man.

Ms Shah said Haider would do the school run every day for her seven-year-old daughter, who now heartbreakingly asks if she can visit her "best friend" and uncle in heaven.

She said: "Haider had big dreams and aspirations...He was a chilled, loving young lad wanting to enjoy his life...I can't even begin to put into words what he meant to us...We no longer laugh or joke like we used to together. Without him, everything feels incomplete like we have nothing left in this world, no motivation to live.

"He was everything to me - the light of my life and the backbone to our family...For my daughter, he wasn't just an uncle, but a father figure and best friend... Haider did the school run for me every day - something my daughter looked forward to every day."

Forensic officers at the scene in Halifax
Forensic officers at the scene in Halifax

She faced Douglas in court and said: "You took this from my daughter."

Ms Shah added: "Every night, she sleeps with his picture on her pillow and often says she wishes she could go to heaven to be with him. A seven-year-old wishing she could be gone from this world so she could be with her uncle and all because of you Rashane."

She says her daughter asks her: "Why did that man kill him?"

Mariam added: "But none of this is this makes no difference to you...Nothing will ever replace Haider's loss in our lives It feels like we are the ones being punished...Our life sentence started the day Haider took his last breath. That is all down to one person and that person is you."

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In a statement read to the court, Haider's mother Yasmin Shah said: Yasmin Shah told the court: "No words can ever describe how I'm feeling at the loss of my son. The emptiness, and pain, the gathering of family and friends, the mourning and funeral. I'm constantly wondering if this is real - where is my son? I'm constantly distraught...My heart aches.

"I don't want to live another day without the handsome young man who was in my house for 19 years. The sooner I die the sooner I can be with Haider. No mother should go through what I'm facing... I just want my Haider back."