A man died after he was hit with a machete in a mass brawl between warring families. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)


FOUR men were jailed for life on Monday (19) for murdering a father-of-four with a machete.

Sajed Choudry, 42, was attacked near his home in Blackburn following a feud between two families.

Choudry was involved in a dispute with members of the Ali family before it escalated on November 24 last year, a trial at Preston crown court heard.

On Monday, judge Justice Dove sentenced Sadaqat Ali, 36, his brother Rafaqat Ali, 38, their father-in-law Fazal Ilahi, 63, and another man, Syed Ali Akbar, 45, to life terms.

A youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will be sentenced at a later date.

Justice Dove said: “Anyone who has observed the evidence in this trial as it has unfolded will have been astonished and horrified to learn how a respectable family, leading a constructive and responsible life in the community, allowed itself to so rapidly descend into callous violence and murder, killing one of their neighbours and seriously injuring his son.”

A jury was told that a group armed with baseball bat, machete and plank met in a residential street before a fight broke out.

Taking the jury through CCTV footage that captured Choudry’s murder, Gordon Cole QC, prosecuting, said all the defendants met up to fight Choudry and his son Ahsan on November 27.

Following a brawl, Choudry was hit with a machete and collapsed.

Cole said: “At one stage you will see a clear backhand swipe into the side of the head of Sajed Choudry which caused him to go to the floor. That was the last blow that Sajed Choudry received.”

Sadaqat Ali, of Rhyl Avenue, was found guilty of murder and attempted murder was sentenced to a minimum of 32 years. He led the others in the “undoubtedly planned” attack.

Rafaqat Ali was jailed for a minimum of 28 years and Ilahi and Akbar were jailed for a minimum term of 20 years.

Choudry’s relatives released a statement describing him as “the heart of the family” and said and they had been left “heartbroken and absolutely devastated”.

They added: “He was always there for his family and would make time for anyone who needed it. We are still struggling to come to terms with the cruel way in which Sajed was taken from us.”