TWO men have appeared in court charged with the murder of 21-year-old Brierfield man Shahbaz Arshad.

Wasim Raza, 22, of Chapelhouse Road, Nelson, and Imran Bashir, also 22, of Talbot Street, Burnley, appeared at Burnley Magistrates Court yesterday.

They were remanded in custody and there was no application for bail.

Mr Arshad, of Woodside Terrace, died in Royal Preston Hospital on March 8, 16 days after he suffered severe head injuries during an incident in a back street off Halifax Road, Brierfield, as he was on his way home from a nearby snooker club.

His parents and two-year-old daughter, Maria, were in Pakistan when the incident happened. His mother flew back to this country to be by his hospital bedside.

Mr Arshad's wife Shukria is expecting a second child in the next few weeks. Mr Arshad attended Mansfield High School, Brierfield, and had worked at Express Gifts, Nelson, although he was unemployed at the time of the attack.

Raza and Bashir previously appeared in court charged with causing Mr Arshad grievous bodily harm. A third man is charged with concealing a vehicle with intent to impede the apprehension or prosecution of an alleged offender.

A 40-man inquiry team based at Burnley police station is continuing the investigation into Shahbaz's death.

Detective Inspector Charles Lemmon said the team was pleased with the response after a public meeting at Brierfield Community Centre on Saturday which was attended by more than 50 people.

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