A STORM had been gathering between factions of a Muslim family, split 250 miles between the East End of London and Blackburn, during 2009.

The marriage of nursery nurse Hafija Gorji, of New Bank Street, Blackburn, to her cousin Jamal Gorji, was on the rocks because of tensions over her more westernised lifestyle and his strict traditional beliefs.

Hafija would confide in her older sister Rizwana, living in Woodbine Road, Blackburn with her husband Nizamuddin – Jamal's brother.

Fakhruddin Ibrahim – the eldest of Hafija and Rizwana's three brothers - was also living in Blackburn and word spread back to their parents in East London, and youngest sibling Hisamuddin Ibrahim.

Religious advice and words of encouragement to Hafija had little effect. The inter-family relationships would make any separation twice as complicated, but fiercely independent Hajifa rebuffed her family's questions, telling them to 'butt out'.

So when Hafija met another man, Mo Ibrahim (no relation), from London Road, Blackburn, and whispers spread of an adulterous affair, the consequences were catastrophic.

Hafija, rattled by her husband's discovery of a text containing Mo's declaration of love, held a summit meeting at her sister's house.

The lovers declared themselves 'just friends', with Mo ordered to swear on the Koran by Hafija's relations that this was the truth.

It was merely a finger in the damn and they had no-one fooled.

Hafija knew it too. She rang the police in early September scared that her family were going to do something drastic, but she could never have imagined they were plotting murder.

Youngest sibling Hisamuddin ordered a fire at Mo's house in London Road. But the number 135 somehow became 175 in translation.

Unravelling the crime became one of Lancashire police's biggest ever murder inquiries. Some 1,500 lines of inquiry were recorded, 1,700 exhibits, 600 statements and 2,000 documents.

Detective Superintendent Supt Neil Hunter said: “The information we were getting from the community, it was always a mistaken identity address.

“Hisamuddin was doing the dirty work of the family. Had he been given the right information?

“We're pretty certain the family knew where the adulterous man lived, so why they've got it so wrong I honestly don't know. I have to say it's not even a terraced house, it's not even the same style. Absolutely bizarre.”

Crucial to cracking was footage caught on a private CCTV system in Mandella Court. It showed the East End gang circling the area, looking for the target house.

Piecing together clips of the VW Golf in the vicinity, they managed to map its route out of Blackburn following the fire at 1.23am.

The number plate was captured by an ANPR camera just before the M65 and detectives began a line of inquiry as to why a car registered to a London address, was in Blackburn at that time in the morning.

After their arrest, the suspects initially stuck to a story of paying back a debt in Blackburn. But with minutes left on the extended 96-hour custody limit the truth began to come out.