A 19-YEAR-old man has admitted that he murdered a Burnley father-of-seven on the fifth day of his trial.

Mohammed Bilal Bhatti, 20, of Holcombe Drive, Burnley, pleaded gulty to murdering Mohammed Raja Shafiq, 50, of York Street, Nelson, in a knife attack.

And Shazad Akhtar, 17, of Scott Park Road, Burnley, admitted manslaughter for delivering the first blow to Mr Shafiq which fractured the skull.

After the guilty pleas the Independent Police Complaints Commission announced that it had found there were failings in the way police treated a call from Mr Shafiq on the day of his murder.

And his son, Umar, called for the defendants to be punished accordingly for their crimes.

Bhatti stabbed Mr Shafiq in Thompson Park, Burnley, on March 4.

Mr Shafiq had gone to the park to protect his son Umar from a group of men who were pressurising him to drop assault charges.

Akhtar’s brother Shahdab, 19, admitted violent disorder for his part in the incident, as did Omar Khalid, 19, of Fairfield Drive, Burnley.

The pleas came on the fifth day of a murder trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Justice Richard Henriques warned the four defendants that they faced jail.

Before adjourning for sentencing in September, he lifted a banning order so that Shazad Akhtar could be named for being “convicted of a grave matter”.

Meanwhile the Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation into how Lancashire Constabulary handled a telephone call from Mohammed Shafiq prior to his murder has found individual failings by a call handler.

Naseem Malik, IPCC Commissioner for the North West, said: “Mr Shafiq contacted Lancashire Constabulary with real concerns about the welfare of his son. However he did not receive the service he needed and decided to deal with the situation himself, with tragic consequences. My sympathies go out to Mr Shafiq’s family and friends."

Umar Shafiq, the victim’s son, told reporters outside court: “Four people intended to kill that day, it was cold blooded murder and they should be punished accordingly.”

The 18-year-old said his family were pleased Bhatti “finally owned up to what he did” but said they were disappointed Shazad Akhtar pleaded guilty to manslaughter and not murder.

He said: “I just hope that when Shazad is sentenced the judge bears in mind that he hit my dad on the head with a heavy metal bar that fractured his skull.”

He continued: “My father was a good honest man, he was a great husband and brother and we will always miss him. It’s the holy month of Ramadan and we would like everyone to pray for him.”

Umar revealed his father died before fulfilling his dream of making a spiritual pilgrimage to Mecca in November.

He said: “My father’s last wish was to go to Mecca and this year we want the pilgrims to say a special prayer for him so his soul can rest in peace.”

He revealed his family moved to the south of England after the murder and he is now studying for a BTEC in Business Studies and working part-time.

His mother, who did not want to be identified, said: “We have moved because we were worried that there would be repercussions.

”My children’s education has been affected and we are having to try and rebuild our lives. We hope the British legal system will not let us down when they are sentenced and we hope the local community support us.”

Detective Inspector Peter Broome of Lancashire Police said: “I’m pleased this investigation is now over and there has been a degree of justice, although this will not bring Mr Shafiq back.

”This was an unnecessary, brutal, sustained attack on an innocent man by a number of people who showed no respect for life that day in March.

”The level of violence that escalated in such a short space of time was despicable. It has been a very difficult time for the family who have assisted the investigation throughout.

”My thoughts remain with them and I hope that they can continue to come to terms with what happened. I wish them well.”