Hitmen guilty of schoolboy murder
Two bungling hitmen who stabbed an innocent schoolboy to death by mistake have been found guilty of his murder.
Ben Hope, 39, and Jason Richards, 38, both from Cardiff, were each paid £1,000 in "blood money" to murder a middle-aged family man who owed money to a shady businessman.
The "hit" went tragically wrong when the balaclava-clad killers, who were high on drugs, went to the wrong address in Roath, Cardiff, in April 2010 and murdered teenager Aamir Siddiqi by mistake.
Aamir, 17, was hacked down on the doorstep of his home. His frantic parents Iqbal and Parveen Siddiqi fought to save their son but were knifed in turn by the killers, who let out chilling howls.
Hope and Richards both denied murdering Aamir and two separate counts of the attempted murder of his parents. They were convicted unanimously of all charges at Swansea Crown Court.
The family of murdered Aamir let out a small whoop of joy as the guilty verdicts were read out in court. Trial judge Mr Justice Royce then adjourned sentencing until next Friday so that he can listen at length to both sides before setting a minimum jail term.
He told Hope and Richards: "It is inevitable that there is a life sentence and it is inevitable that there will be a very substantial minimum term."
Speaking on the courthouse steps on behalf of the family, Aamir's sister, Umbareen Siddiqi, 33, paid tribute to her murdered brother, saying: "Today's guilty verdict is the right one and as a family we are both delighted and relieved."
"On the 11th of April 2010, a house which was previously filled with love and laughter was brutally destroyed by the callous, vicious attack on our parents and our brother. Within seconds our lives changed for ever. The world has moved on in almost three years since the murder but for us the attack is as fresh as if it happened yesterday."