Murder of dad was ‘planned’

MURDER TRIAL STARTING IN SHEFFIELD ON JAN 30TH'Callow Mount Murder Scene . Scenes of crime officers arrive at the murder scene
MURDER TRIAL STARTING IN SHEFFIELD ON JAN 30TH'Callow Mount Murder Scene . Scenes of crime officers arrive at the murder scene
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A TAKEAWAY worker from Sheffield was knifed through the heart in a ‘carefully planned’ attack by two masked killers, a court heard.

Zabihullah Rafiq, aged 30, was stabbed outside his home on Callow Mount, Gleadless, and collapsed before dying at the scene.

Sheffield Crown Court heard the murder was allegedly carried out by 20-year-old Hassan Maruf and his accomplice Shaffiq Habibi, 30.

Jurors were told the Afghan asylum seekers wore black balaclavas and monitored Mr Rafiq’s movements on two ‘reconnaissance journeys’ in the days leading up to the stabbing last May.

The court heard they lay in wait at Callow Mount for over half an hour before the married dad-of-one was knifed by Maruf when he arrived home from a shift at Pronto Pizza, on Glossop Road, shortly before 4am.

Richard Sheldon, prosecuting, said Mr Rafiq – known as Zabi – was carrying more than £700 in takings and suffered ‘significant blood loss’ from a 5cm stab wound.

“Whether the motive was robbery or something else, we may never know,” Mr Sheldon said.

“This was planned, it was prepared for and the use of violence must have been not only anticipated but expected.

“They were in this together.”

Jurors heard Maruf, of Hampton Road, Fir Vale, and Habibi, of Spring Walk, Eastwood, Rotherham, both fled the UK after the killing.

Their DNA was found on the balaclavas, discarded at Crabtree Ponds in Fir Vale.

Maruf, who denies murder but admits manslaughter, was found in Marseilles, France, and extradited back to Sheffield in July.

Habibi is believed to have travelled back to Afghanistan.

Mr Sheldon said the prospect of him being brought to justice was ‘extremely limited’.

“Those who flee do so only because they fear the consequences of what they have done. The attack had devastating results.”

The trial continues.