Pensioner "turned down lift" before fatal attack

“MILD-MANNERED” Mushin Ahmed, who died ten days after being attacked on his way to prayers, had turned down a lift to mosque from his wife.

Jurors at Sheffield Crown Court heard today how Margaret Ahmed offered to get up at 4am and drive her husband, but he refused the offer because she had a doctor's appointment later.

Partway through his 18-minute walk, at around 3.15am on August 10 last year, Mr Ahmed (81) encountered Dale Jones (30) and Damien Hunt (30).

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The pair are accused of launching a savage drink-and-drugs-fueled attack, punching, kicking and stamping on the pensioner, which led to his death in hospital 11 days later.

In a statement given to police, read in court today, Mrs Ahmed described waking up and finding that her husband's shoes were not where they would usually be when he returned from morning prayers.

Mrs Ahmed told police her husband had retired at the age of 68, due to a workplace accident.

After that he started attending the Eldon Road mosque more often, up to five times each day.

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She said he would go to evening prayers at around 6.30pm, after which he would often stay for more prayers at around 11pm.

He would then come home and sleep for a few hours, before going back to the mosque at around 4am.

“He always wore traditional clothes with white trainers and a skull cap,” Mrs Ahmed told police.

“He would normally get a lift to the mosque from friends but he recently had a catch-up with a nurse who praised him for losing weight because he had started walking to the mosque.

“It would normally take him about 18 minutes.”

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The court heard on August 9 last year, Mr Ahmed had returned home at about 11pm, having been given a lift.

Shortly afterwards he went up to his bedroom, while Mrs Ahmed retired to hers.

“I heard him praying then and I heard him again at about 2.15am,” she said.

“He came into my room later and said: ‘It's 4am, I'm going to the mosque.’

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“I said I would take him but he refused because he knew I had a doctor's appointment.

“When I got up I thought it was strange that his shoes weren't there by the front door. I thought he must be running a bit late.

“I was contacted at about 7am to be told that he had been attacked and was in hospital.”

Mrs Ahmed added: “He's a quiet, mild-mannered and gentle man who would do anything for anyone.

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“I don't know why anyone would want to do anything to hurt him.”

Mr Ahmed leaves four children aged 47, 46, 39 and 38 as well as 12 grandchildren.

Jones, of East Bawtry Road and Hunt, of Doncaster Road both deny murder.

The trial continues.

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