Jury appointed for the Aya Hachem murder trial unexpectedly dismissed by court
Image by Lancashire Constabulary
After less than a day’s deliberation in a trial related to teenage student Aya Hachem’s murder in 2020, reports have stated that the jury has been dismissed.
LancsLive has reported that the jury was told that it was being discharged on Wednesday, 9 November following an application. The reason behind the decision was not revealed to prevent the future trial from being prejudiced. This has also resulted in the developments of the case so far to crumble.
Sohayl Suleman, 38, and Junior Lewis Otway, 42, face charges of murder and attempted murder in relation to a botched assassination attempt of Pachah Khan, a garage owner. In May 2020, gunman Zamir Raja was supposed to kill Khan at a drive-by in Blackburn but Hachem, who was in no way involved in the dispute, accidentally came in line of fire and was shot, leading to her death.
In 2021, eight people were convicted, with seven found guilty of the murder of Hachem and attempted murder of Khan. One was found guilty of manslaughter.
Suleman and Otway have been standing trial since October 18 at the Preston Crown Court, after being accused of plotting Khan’s murder. Both of them denied any involvement and pleaded not guilty. The jury then retired to contemplate its verdict in Tuesday, 8 November.
However, on Wednesday the judge, Justice Goose, called the jury back to the courtroom and told them that they were being discharged. They were also instructed not to share any details of the hearings of the case so far with anyone. The case was then listed for a re-trial, according to the BBC.