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IN THE NEWS


PH DRIVERS GATHER IN GLASGOW FOR THEIR FALLEN COLLEAGUE AFTER TRAGIC DROWNING DEATH


Devastated private hire drivers have paid tribute to their “fallen colleague” after his tragic drowning. The Glasgow Times reports that cabbies turned out at Linn Cemetery Extension, south Glasgow, on 3 August to honour Muhammed Asim Riaz with a “driver’s salute” at his funeral – a guard of honour for their colleague and friend. Riaz lost his life after getting into diffi- culty at Pulpit Rock, Ardlui, on 24 July. His friend Edina Olahova, 29, and her nine-year-old son Rana Haris Ali were also pronounced dead on the scene. A small group of App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU) committee members who knew the 41-year-old personally spoke fondly of his memory, with the grey day matching the solemn


mood of the occasion. Organiser of the “driver’s salute”, and member of the ADCU, Eddie Grice, knew Riaz and had only been working with him the week before the tragedy. He said: “He was a nice hard-working guy. He was respectful to everyone.” Those who arrived at the cemetery


around 3pm, had also attended their local mosque before to say their prayers. Grice and several other drivers, including some who didn’t know him personally but wanted to pay their respects, waited just outside the cemetery for the funeral car to enter. Grice added: “We’re standing in solidarity with a fallen colleague. When we heard the news, a lot of us knew him, so it shook us. We’re here to support each other, and to hold each other up. “In times like this, we will try to support each other and his family, and we would like to offer his family our thoughts and prayers.” A fundraiser has also been set up for Riaz’s family, which has surpassed its initial target of £2,500.


RICARDO LINTON CONVICTED OF GUNNING DOWN BRADFORD PH DRIVER 20 YEARS AGO


Jamaican-born drug dealer Ricardo Linton has been convicted of shooting a Bradford PH driver in the head while on the run from the police for a similar cold-blooded execution-style murder in America. The Telegraph and Argus reports that the family of Mohammed Basharat, who was gunned down in the office of Little Horton Private Hire, are finally getting justice almost 20 years after the brutal and remorseless killing. Linton, 45, denied murdering Mr Basharat and attempting to murder fellow taxi driver Jamshad Khan on the evening of Saturday, October 20, 2001. He was found guilty by the jury at Bradford Crown Court on 11 August after a month-long trial. Mr Justice Lavender will sentence him on September 27. Linton was remanded back into custody but he is already serving a very long sentence in a US prison for murder. After the unanimous guilty verdicts


58


were returned by the foreman, the judge exempted the jurors from serving on a jury again for ten years. During the trial, the court heard that Mr Basharat, 33, was struck by two


bullets, in the head and the mouth, and died where he lay. Prosecutor Richard Wright QC told how the gunman, wearing a green balaclava, did not speak before pointing his revolver at Mr Basharat and twice pulling the trigger causing “a devastat- ing and inevitably fatal head injury.” He then turned his weapon on Jamshad “Jimmy” Khan and again pulled the trigger but the gun failed. Mr Wright said at least four shots were fired, two of which had found their mark. The cold-blooded killing was in revenge for a road rage incident the


previous day near the taxi offices on Park Lane in Bradford. Mr Wright said the “minor and inconse- quential” matter involved Mr Basharat in his cab and Linton, who was driving a Renault Clio in the opposite direction. The jury heard that the Clio was badly driven and Mr Basharat had to stop his vehicle to avoid it. Both drivers got out and a scuffle ensued. “The fight was something and nothing,” Mr Wright said. But the man driving the Clio came off worse. He ran away abandoning the car in the middle of the road. But before he left the scene, he threatened to kill Mr Basharat, telling him he didn’t know who he was messing with. “He was willing to use a firearm to exact revenge and to execute a man in cold blood,” he told the court. Linton was a man with a short temper who could not stand coming off second best, he said. Linton vanished from Bradford on the day Mr Basharat was murdered.


SEPTEMBER 2021


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