07/03/2008

Four Remanded Over Lancashire Park Death

A 20-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy have been remanded in custody charged with the murder of a father-of-five who was stabbed to death in a Lancashire Park earlier this week.

Mohammed Bilal Bhatti, 20, of Holcombe Drive in Burnley and a 16-year-old who cannot be named because of his age, appeared before Burnley Magistrates' Court on Friday. Both were charged with murder and violent disorder and were remanded in custody until March 17, to appear before Preston Crown Court.

Mohammed Shafiq, 50, from York Street in Nelson was hit on the head with an iron bar and stabbed in the abdomen as he tried to intervene in a fight in Thompson Park in Burnley on Tuesday afternoon. He was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital where he died later that day.

Mr Shafiq had phoned police before he went to the park himself. The matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), after concerns were raised about the response to the call.

Two other men also appeared before Burnley magistrates on Friday, charged with violent disorder in connection with the same incident.

Omar Khalid, 19, of Fairfield Drive in Burnley and Mohammed Shahdab Akhtar, 19, of Scott Park Road in Burnley were also remanded in custody until March 17, when they are also due to appear before Preston Crown Court.

(KMcA/JM)


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