An employee who murdered a friendly and popular shopkeeper in a frenzied knife attack was today jailed for life.
Naeem Mehmood, aged 27, pleaded guilty to the murder of dad-of-three Parvaiz Iqbal on October 15 last year.
A judge at Sheffield Crown Court today ordered he must serve a minimum of 27 years in jail.
Peter Moulson QC, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court Mr Iqbal was stabbed 51 times in the walk-in freezer of his Bismillah Food Store in Eastwood, Rotherham.
When another employee, Saied Husseine, tried to intervene, Mehmood stabbed him in the stomach.
The knife was found embedded in Mr Iqbal’s chest and he died at the scene.
After the killing Mehmood rampaged down Grosvenor Road holding a machete above his head, shouting, swearing and smashing car windows.
He was stopped ten minutes later in the Tesco car park in Rotherham town centre by chief inspector Ian Womersley from South Yorkshire Police who had run there along with colleagues from nearby Main Street police station.
Mehmood, of Herringthorpe Valley Road, Rotherham, admitted murder and GBH with intent.
Det Supt Barraclough said after the case: “This was a large-scale and fast-paced incident which involved scores of officers whose robust and swift actions meant that Mehmood was quickly detained.
“I want to thank those people who came forward with information and helped police to trace Mehmood. The numerous forensic scenes that were established as part of the investigation also caused local disruption and I want to take this opportunity thank people for their tolerance.
“As the case has not gone to trial, the exact reasons why Mehmood chose to attack his boss and colleague in such a violent way remain unclear. He had only recently returned to work and the innocent victims in the case were simply going about their daily business when Mehmood launched his unprovoked attack.
“I hope that his guilty plea today will go some way to providing closure for Mr Iqbal’s family who are still grieving for the loss of their husband, brother, father and son. Mr Iqbal was a well-known member of the community and his death has touched many people.”
Chief Superintendent Jason Harwin, district commander for Rotherham, said: “This was a very public incident, but I want to reassure people that violence of this nature is rare in Rotherham.
“Violent crime continues to fall in the district and, working closely with partners, we remain committed to ensuring Rotherham is safe place to live and work.”