TWO men have appeared in front of a judge charged with murdering 19-year-old law student Aya Hachem.

Suhayl Suleman and Lewis Otway appeared separately in front of Judge Robert Altham, the Honorary Recorder of Preston, on Friday morning.

Suleman, of Shear Brow, was arrested on Wednesday evening in Blackburn and appeared from HMP Preston while Otway, of Clitheroe Road, Manchester, who was arrested on Wednesday in the midlands, appeared afterwards from a court in Wolverhampton.  

Wearing prison uniform, both men spoke only to confirm their names.

Law student Aya, 19, was killed on Sunday, May 17th as she walked by Quick Shine Car Wash, King Street and was struck by a stray bullet shot from a passing Toyota Avensis. The bullet went through her body and was embedded in a telegraph pole.

She had been walking to buy food for her family to eat when they broke their Ramadan fast that evening.

Eight people were last year jailed for a total of more than 200 years following a trial for their involvement in the murder of Aya and the attempted murder of Pacha Khan, the intended target of the shooting.

Now following a review of the evidence the two more men have been arrested and charged.

Both were interviewed in the early stages of the investigation and released without charge but following a further review of the evidence, and advice from Nicholas Johnson QC who represented the prosecution at trial, the Crown Prosecution Service has now authorised charges of Murder (Aya Hachem) and Attempted Murder (Pacha Khan) for both men.

A plea and trial preparation hearing has been set for May and a five-week trial date has provisionally been set for October 4.