On 15 August 1996, 15-year-old Lucy Burchell of Staffordshire went to a flat in Saltley, Birmingham, and died there on the following day. Her body was found five days later on waste ground in Edgbaston, Birmingham.
Lucy had bought heroin from drug dealers, Rungzabe and Tahir Khan. The amount that she took was 10 times the recommended therapeutic dosage, and twice the amount likely to be taken by an experienced heroin user.
The Khans were with her when she took the drug and gave her no advice that might have saved her life. The Khans left the flat leaving Lucy alone and comatose.
On 16 August, the Khans returned and found her dead. At this point they burned the mattress on which she had been lying, together with most of her clothing and disposed of her body on waste ground.
On 31 August 1996, the home of the parents of Rungzabe and Tahir Khan was searched by the police and drugs, a handgun and ammunition were found.
The drug was supplied by Rungzabe Khan (26 at that time), of Lindale Avenue, Hodge Hill, and Tahir Khan (27 at that time), of Ash Road, Saltley, who left her to die and then dumped her body.
They were each jailed for ten years.
Saleem Iqbal (29 at that time) a second-hand car dealer with a business in Yardley who tried to persuade key witnesses to alter their evidence in the trial of Khans accused of killing Lucy Burchell, was jailed for two years.
Saleem Iqbal was found guilty of two charges of perverting the course of justice at Birmingham Crown Court.
Later Co-accused Tariq Khan – the brother of Tahir Khan, who was jailed for ten years over the death of 16-year-old Lucy – was cleared of the same charges.
The Khans were, originally,
Jailing Iqbal, Judge Derek Stanley said a note to the witnesses was in Iqbal’s own handwriting and was plain evidence of his guilt.
Mr Michael Burrows, prosecuting, had told the jury Iqbal also had several discussions with the two girls, who were his friends.
“He suggested to them what to say so as to tailor evidence to ‘row out’ Tahir Khan even if it meant ‘sinking’ his co-accused, Rungzabe Khan,” he said.
The real risk of injustice was that Tahir might get off and Rungzabe might stand convicted alone, he said.
He said Iqbal tried to get the girls to alter their evidence on the purity of the drug given to Lucy and who had given it to her.
Iqbal said in his note that he would “make it up to them” if the girls modified their evidence.
Mr Benjamin Nicholls, for Iqbal, said there were never any threats, bribes or intimidation and no requests for retractions and U-turns of evidence or to stay away from court.
The girls were not intimidated and were not deflected from giving evidence, he added.
The manslaughter sentence was quashed at the Court of Appeal and a sentence of six years instituted in its place.
Rungzabe Khan was sentenced to 3.5 years for manslaughter and related charges. The manslaughter charge was quashed at the Court of Appeal and he was freed.
Tahir khan died few years ago and Saleem Iqbal now 48 A sucessfual businessman of Streetsbrook Road, Solihull, was sentenced to 16 months, suspended for two years, and 120 hours community service on June 20, 2013 after he was found involved in what was described as “one of the most significant money laundering networks seen in the UK.”
A gang of 32 men (mosty Pakistani men) who laundered more than £180 million for drug traffickers have been jailed for a total of 140 years.
The huge money laundering scam saw a staggering £44 million deposited into a single bank in Small Heath.