06:14PM, Wednesday 18 December 2019
A man has been jailed for 10 years for conspiracy to commit GBH with intent in connection with the death of a teenager in Burnham 16 years ago.
Daniel Higgins, 18, was tortured and shot in the head by a gang of masked attackers who broke into a property in Thirlmere Avenue in an attack police described as a revenge killing on November 9, 2003.
Jamil Khalid, of Cooper Way, Cippenham, stood trial at Reading Crown Court over the last 11 days accused of murder but jurors acquitted him of the charge today (Wednesday).
Prosecutors accused Khalid of helping the gang launch a surprise attack on their victim by giving them a side door key and alerting them of the 18-year-old’s whereabouts.
The defendant, then 24, had been staying at the first-floor maisonette in Burnham with Chloe Muncey, sister of Higgins’ girlfriend Natalie Muncey, at the time.
Life sentences were handed to Majad Khan and Mohammed Omar Akbar, both Slough, for their role in Mr Higgins’ death.
Sentencing, Mrs Justice Andrews, told the court: “You were the facilitator.
“Without your assistance the group would not have known they could find Daniel in the flat.
“And without your assistance they wouldn’t have been able to take Daniel by surprise.”
Last week the jury heard how Khalid, now 40, flew to Pakistan shortly after officers interviewed him in connection with the killing of Mr Higgins.
Khalid was initially released without charge but he told Reading Crown Court on Wednesday, December 11, that he decided to leave the UK after police issued him with an Osman warning, meaning his life was under threat.
He was arrested by police at Birmingham Airport in February as he attempted to return to the UK to see his family.
Julian Christopher QC, prosecuting, read a victim impact statement from Susan Higgins, Daniel’s mother, yesterday (Dec18).
It said : “The worst thing about this process is that I’m being forced to relive everything again because this man chose to flee the country after he had enabled my son to be killed.
She added: “I’m glad the police never gave up their search for justice but at the same time I wish this man was left to rot in a jail in the country he fled to.”
Khalid will serve five years of his sentence and will then be released on licence.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Shearwood, of Major Crime Unit, said: “Daniel was taken into the spare room where he was tortured before being fatally shot in the head, while his girlfriend protected her baby in the next room.
“We believe the murder was a revenge attack for the murder of Mohammed Mahmood Choudry in February 2003.
“It was our case that Jamil Khalid kept the other offenders updated by phone and obtained a key for them to access the property in Thirlmere Avenue.”
He added: “This case demonstrates that Thames Valley Police will never give up on the fight for justice for victims and the families of victims.
“Khalid has now been convicted in connection with this incident, however we still believe there are three other offenders who also fled to Pakistan.
“They should know that we know who they are and we continue to actively seek them. I hope they live in constant fear that we will find them.”
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