THE hitman who killed a teenage girl in broad daylight was to be paid £1,500 to fire a warning shot outside a rival business, a jury has heard.

Ayaz Hussain – the man accused of putting aggrieved businessman Feroz Suleman in touch with ‘hired hitman’ Zamir Raja, claims he was unaware of any plan for someone to be shot on May 17 last year, when Blackburn teen Aya Hachem was killed in King Street.

Instead he told a jury at Preston Crown Court that the owner of RI Tyres and his good friend Suleman had asked him to find someone to ‘rough up’ his business rival and the owner of Quickshine Tyres, Pachah Khan, with whom he was embroiled in a bitter feud.

During his first day of giving evidence, Hussain said the plan to fire a warning shot outside of the business had gone ‘terribly wrong’ – resulting in the death of innocent bystander Aya.

Hussain was being questioned about events by his barrister Abbas Lakha QC, who asked the 35-year-old about how he had introduced Suleman to Raja in May of last year.

Hussain told the jury: “Feroz Suleman explained to Mr Raja [during their first meeting] that he wanted somebody to go in and rough up the manager.

“He told Feroz that it is not that easy – to send somebody there. He said ‘you need to remember that these Kurds, they stick together’.”

On May 11, Hussain was contacted by Raja, who said he would come to Blackburn again for another meeting about the plan. However, Feroz was too busy to attend, instead sending Hussain.

Hussain said: “He explained again that what Feroz was asking him to do – to intimidate or scare – was not as easy as it sounds and he suggested driving past and showing a firearm or letting off a shot in the air that would scare them.”

Mr Lakha QC asked his client: “What was your reaction to that?” He responded: “I said I can’t say yes, I can’t say no. You need to speak to Feroz and he will give you the answer to that.”

Mr Lakha QC: “Was any further conversation had about what would be needed in order to do this – what it would cost or anything along those lines?” Hussain: “He said something in regards to £1,500.”

Hussain said he later told Suleman about the plan, and that the businessman was ‘excited’ by the idea.

However a week later on May 17 when Ayaz Hussain drove down King Street just moments after the shooting with co-defendant Abubakr Satia, he stated he immediately knew that something had gone ‘terribly wrong’.

Mr Lakha QC: “So you suspected that as soon as you saw the crowd of people?” Hussain: “Yes.

Hussain said: “We were driving up towards the high school and we received a call from Uthman Satia (also charged). When the phone was answered it was Zamir Raja.

“He was like panicking saying ‘I don’t know where the girl come from, I didn’t see her. It was only supposed to be a shot in the air. I don’t know where she come from.’”

He later said: “When I got towards my house, I called Feroz Suleman first, and then he called me back.

“He was saying ‘I don’t know what happened, I don’t know what happened. It was only supposed to be a shot in the air.’

Suleman, of, Blackburn; Raja, of Stretford, Greater Manchester; Anthony Ennis, of Partington, Greater Manchester; Kashif Manzoor, of, Blackburn; Hussain, of Blackburn; Abubakr Satia, of Blackburn; Uthman Satia, of Great Harwood; and Judy Chapman, of Great Harwood, all deny the murder of Aya and the attempted murder of Mr Khan. 

Raja has pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter but the prosecution are pursuing the murder case against him.