A JURY has found four people guilty of the murder of a father-of-four who was left with a machete wound to the side of his head amid a family feud in Blackburn.

Sadaqat Ali, 36, who prosecutors insisted struck the fatal blow on Sajed Choudry during an explosion of violence in Rhyl Avenue last November, has been convicted of his murder at Preston Crown Court.

His brother Rafaqat Ali, 38, his father-in-law Fazal Ilahi, 62, and a fourth man, Syed Ali Akbar, have also been found guilty of Mr Choudry's murder, after a stand-off which saw an axe and pieces of wood used as weapons.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Sadaqat Ali, Rafaqat Ali, Fazal Illahi and Syed Ali Akbar, each convicted of Sajed Choudry's murder

A youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter.

Sadaqat Ali was also found guilty of the attempted murder of Mr Choudry's 20-year-old son Ashan. Rafaqat Ali, Ilahi, Akbar and the youth were each cleared of the same charge.

Jurors found Rafaqat Ali, Ilahi and Akbar guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent. The youth was cleared of GBH but convicted of unlawful wounding.

Prosecutor Gordon Cole QC told the court at the start of the trial that there had been issues between the Choudry and Ali families, who lived nearby in the town, for several months.

Jurors were told Sadaqat Ali, 36, was arrested after he hit Mr Choudry's son, Ahsan, 24, over the head with a bar following a chance meeting in the street on November 24.

While in custody, Sadaqat Ali's wife saw another son of Mr Choudry, Mohsan, 20, approach her husband's car and slash one of the tyres, which led to his arrest too.

Mr Cole said the crown's case was that the Alis and Ilahi, with two others, met up in Rhyl Avenue on the late evening of November 27 armed with pieces of wood, an axe and a machete.

CCTV footage also captured Mr Choudry, with a baseball bat, and son Ahsan, with a cricket bat.

Mr Cole said Sadaqat Ali was seen repeatedly holding the machete and at one point struck Ahsan and caused a massive gash to his left hand.

In return, Sadaqat Ali was hit in the face with Ahsan's bat and then Rafaqat Ali struck Ahsan on the head with a stick, added Mr Cole.

He said later Sadaqat Ali narrowly missed Sajed Choudry's wife, Shazia, with a swipe of the machete before Sajed Choudry was felled.

Mr Cole said Mr Choudry was struck by a "clear backhand swipe", which floored him.

The court heard Sadaqat Ali then chased Ahsan into his front garden before striking the door with the machete and then turning away, Mr Cole said.

The machete has never been recovered, the court heard.

Saira Ali and Asma Ali, the wives of Sadaqat and Rafaqat, who were accused of switching off CCTV cameras covering the street, were cleared of attempting to pervert the course of justice partway through the hearing.

Trial judge Mr Justice Dove adjourned the case for sentence until September 19.

Speaking after the case, Chief Inspector Pauline Stables, of Blackburn CID, said: "This violent attack was an escalation of an ongoing dispute between two groups.

"The defendants armed themselves with weapons and went out with the intention of causing serious harm that evening.

"Violence of any nature will not be tolerated in our communities and today’s result demonstrates that we will do everything in our power to bring those responsible to justice.

"Unfortunately Mr Choudry didn’t survive the attack and his family now have to come to terms with their tragic loss.

"No family should have to experience what they have and our thoughts remain with them at what continues to be an extremely distressing time."