'Callous and deceitful' trio who killed five in 'bomb-like' shop blast insurance scam jailed for life

David Harding
Contributor
Aram Kurd (l), Arkan Ali and Hawkar Hassan have all been jailed for life (Leicestershire Police)

Three men have been jailed for murdering five people in a ‘bomb-like’ shop blast in Leicester last year.

Aram Kurd, 34 and Arkan Ali, 38 were jailed for life with a minimum term of 38 years at Leicester Crown Court on Friday.

A third person, Hawkar Hassan, 33, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 33 years for his part in the attack.

The trio had plotted to gain a £300,000 insurance pay-out.

Sentencing the men, Mr justice Holgate said: ‘None of the defendants has shown the slightest bit of remorse for their wicked crimes. They were exceptionally callous and deceitful.

Brothers Sean Rajoobeer, 17 (left) and Shane Rajoobeer, 18, and their mother Mary were three of the five victims of the Hinckley Road explosion. (PA)
The devastating scene of the huge explosion in Leicester. (SWNS)
The scene of the huge explosion in Leicester in February 2018. (PA)

‘I agree with the prosecution that it is plain beyond doubt that Kurd and Ali were both centrally involved in the planning of these crimes.

‘It is plain from the way they both behaved in court and outside that they are highly manipulative and cunning individuals.’

The court was told the trio had poured as many as 30 litres of petrol into the Polish supermarket’s basement before igniting it.

The explosion destroyed not only the store, owned by Kurd, but also the flat above.

The defendants even left shop worker Viktorija Ijevleva, 22, to die in the explosion because she ‘knew too much’ about the insurance policy they had taken out less than three weeks earlier.

The other victims were Mary Ragoobeer, 46, her teenage sons Shane and Sean, and 18-year-old Leah Beth Reek, who was Shane’s girlfriend.

The deadly blast occurred on February 25 last year.

Viktorija Ijevleva (left) and Leah Reek were also fatally injured in the blast. (SWNS)
The  aftermath of the explosion (PA)

Ali is from Oldham and Hassan from Coventry.

‘Their crimes have caused unspeakable grief to the families of those killed and injured, and brought utter chaos and devastation to the many residents and businesses of Leicester’s Hinckley Road,’ said Detective Chief Inspector Michelle Keen, of Leicestershire Police.

Following the blast, Kurd even gave interviews to the media, claiming the explosion was like being ‘inside hell’.

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