THE INTENDED target of a drive-by shooting said he received threats to his life in the months running up to Aya Hachem’s murder.

Pachah Khan, owner of Quickshine Tyres, told Preston Crown Court that he had a ‘bad relationship’ with Feroz Suleman, the man the prosecution say ordered a hit on him in May 2020.

It has been heard that Suleman, who owns RI Tyres next door to Quickshine in King Street, Blackburn, hatched a plan to have Mr Khan killed after the pair had become embroiled in a year-long feud over business matters.

However it was Aya who was fatally struck by a bullet which the crown say was fired by hitman Zamir Raja, who had been sitting in the backseat of Toyota Avensis driven by Anthony Ennis.

Yesterday, Mr Khan was called to the witness stand at Preston Crown Court. Prosecutor Mr Nicholas Johnson QC started out by asking him about his business, and how he had branched out from being just a car wash to also selling tyres in 2019. This, it is argued, was the catalyst for the feud.

Mr Johnson QC asked: “Back in May last year, how were your relations?” “It was a bad relationship,” Mr Khan said.

Mr Johnson said: “The jury have already heard of lots of incidents, had Feroz Suleman ever said anything to you that caused you any concern? Mr Khan responded: “Yes.”

Mr Johnson asked: “What caused you concern?” Mr Khan replied: “When I was opening the tyre business, he threatened to kill me.”

Mr Johnson said: “Did he make that threat once or more than once?”

Mr Khan replied: “Many times.”

Mr Johnson then asked: “When did he start issuing threats to kill you, can you remember the date?”

Mr Khan said: “They started threatening to kill me after I opened the tyre business.”

Mr Johnson asked: “Prior to the incident on May 17, how recently had that sort of a threat been made to you?”

Mr Khan: “A few weeks prior to that incident, they gave me threats when we had an argument.”

Mr Khan said that he went to his business most days, usually standing in the same spot on the forecourt.

He was later asked about what happened when the silver Avensis arrived on King Street at shortly after 3pm on the day of the shooting.

He said he noticed a gun pointing out from a back window. He said: “When the car turned around again towards me, I got really scared and changed my position.”

Mr Johnson then asked: “As it went past, what happened?” Mr Khan responded: “When they got closer to me, they fired gunshots.”

Mr Johnson later asked: “What impression did you get as to where the gun was pointing? Mr Khan replied: “Towards me.”

Mr Khan then said he heard two shots before he was asked if he saw anybody get injured.

“Aya Hachem”, he replied.

Mr Khan was then shown CCTV footage which shows him pointing towards the Avensis as it drove past him, just before the shots were fired.

Mr Johnson QC asks him: “You point here, your arms goes out. Do you see that?”

Mr Khan responds “Yes”.

Mr Johnson QC asks: “Why are you doing that?”

Mr Khan replied: “He was pointing the gun at me and I was saying what are you doing?”

Mr Johnson then asked: “Could you tell who or what the gunman was looking at?” “He was looking at me,” Mr Khan said.

The prosecutor then asked what the gunman was looking at as he fired the shot. “He was looking at me.”

“And what did you think the when they fired the second shot?” Mr Johnson asked.

Mr Khan replied: “When they were pointing the gun, I had a strong belief I was the target as he was looking at me. And when the shot was fired he was looking at me.”

On Thursday, a recording of the 999 call Mr Khan made after Aya was shot was played to the jury in court. The recording, which lasted around 11 minutes, detailed the moments immediately after the incident.

He tells the police call operator there’s been a shooting and ‘a lady is injured really bad.’

The operator responds: ‘Someone’s shooting?’

Mr Khan says: ‘Yeah, shooting a firearm down the main road.’

The dispatcher then asks for a description of the car the caller said the bullet was fired from. He said: “It was a silver Avensis.”

Throughout the duration of the call various people speak to the dispatcher, including one man who gives details about Aya’s medical state.

In the recording he tells the dispatcher that he has placed her in the recovery position. He tells her that Aya is not responsive and she has a weak pulse.

Moments later, the dispatcher asks the man: “Does she still have a weak pulse?

“Very weak, if at all,” he responds.

He then tells her she has no pulse, just as an emergency first responder arrives at the scene.

At 3.43pm, the ambulance arrived at the hospital, where Aya was taken straight into A&E.

By this stage she had been receiving medical care for more than half an hour. Aya did not have a heartbeat at any point during the attempts to resuscitate her.

Despite the best efforts of all medics, Aya was pronounced dead at 3.52pm.

Eight people stand trial accused of the murder of Aya and the attempted murder of Mr Khan.

They are Suleman, 40, of, Shear Brow, Zamir Raja, 33, of Stretford, Greater Manchester; Anthony Ennis, 31, of Partington, Greater Manchester; Kashif Manzoor, 26, of, Blackburn; Ayaz Hussain, 35, of Blackburn; Abubakr Satia, 32, of Blackburn; his brother Uthman Satia, 29, of Great Harwood; and Judy Chapman, 26, of Great Harwood.

Each defendant played an important role in the killing of Aya, the prosecution say.