Conor Quinn: Following an 11-week trial before Mr Justice Turner sitting in the Crown Court at Preston, seven defendants were convicted of Murdering Aya Hachem and Attempting to Murder Pachah Khan in a drive-by shooting on a busy Sunday afternoon in the centre of Blackburn. Conor Quinn together with Tahir Khan Q.C. defended Judy Chapman, who was the only defendant acquitted of the charges of both Murder and Attempted Murder, with the jury returning a guilty verdict to the alternative charge of Manslaughter instead. Ms. Chapman collected the gunman and his driver in Bolton, drove them to the car that they used in the drive-by, waited for them to carry out the hit and then collected them afterwards and drove the pair back to Bolton. After the killing her car was hidden and she lied to the police about her movements at the critical time, claiming to have been at home and not to have collected anyone. During the trial, all the other defendants gave evidence and mostly blamed one another for what had occurred. Ms. Chapman was the only defendant not to give evidence and ran her case on the basis that there was simply insufficient evidence upon which one could infer that she knew that she was playing a part in a plan to commit Murder. By virtue of their verdicts, the jury must have agreed with these submissions and were only able to infer that she was part of a plan to fire live ammunition in the course of a drive-by shooting, which must have subjected another person to at least the risk of some physical harm. The seven Murders were sentenced to life in prison with a total minimum term of 216 years. Ms. Chapman’s sentencing has been adjourned until 1st October 2021 for the preparation of a Pre-Sentence Report.
Seven men found guilty of murder of Blackburn student Aya Hachem | UK news | The Guardian
Aya Hachem: Seven men found guilty of murdering law student during botched drive-by shooting in Blackburn | UK News | Sky News