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EDITIONS
 Friday, 20 December, 2002, 14:46 GMT
Car theft killers jailed for life
Raees Khan and Raingzaib Akhtar
Raees Khan and Rangzaib Akhtar: Guilty of murder
The three car thieves who murdered a man as they tried to steal a car have been jailed for life.

The three, Rashad Zaman, 21, Rangzaib Akhtar, 20, Raees Khan, 21, attacked Kevin Jackson after he intervened as they tampered with his father-in-law's car.

They stabbed father-of-two Mr Jackson in the head with a screwdriver and beat him with a piece of wood near his home in Halifax, West Yorkshire.

Mr Jackson's widow Julie said in a statement after the trial: "Waiting for the verdicts has been the equivalent of waiting for Kevin's life support machine to be switched off.

Rashad Zaman
Rashad Zaman: Third man guilty of killing
"It has been like watching my husband die all over again."

The judge at Leeds Crown Court, Mr Justice Jackson, told them: "You confronted Kevin Jackson three-to-one, you assaulted him.

"Mr Jackson was unarmed, and by stabbing him through the head, you committed a cowardly and horrific act."

The 31-year-old engineer from Skircoat Green, Halifax, died from his injuries on New Year's Day - two days after he suffered the assault on 30 December, 2001.

During the four week murder trial, the jury was told the trio from Bradford had been on a three-month car crime spree when they murdered Mr Jackson.

They had been attempting to steal his father-in-law's Toyota Rav 4 car when Mr Jackson intervened.

Robert Smith QC, prosecuting, told the jury: "The reason they had no regard to that risk was that in the event of being confronted they were prepared to use, and did use, serious violence."

The court heard Mr Jackson had fallen asleep on the sofa after a night out.

At 0210 GMT Mr Jackson's wife, Julie, who had gone to bed, was woken by a sound outside.

She saw a man sitting on the bonnet of her father's car which was parked outside their home in Cow Lane, Halifax.

She woke her husband and saw him leave the house and run after two men.

Mr Jackson was stabbed with a screwdriver and found moments later lying fatally injured in the road in a pool of blood.

Kevin Jackson
Kevin Jackson: Stabbed with screwdriver
During the trial the court was told that Khan had "poked" Mr Jackson with the screwdriver but had not intended to kill him.

Akhtar told the court he hid behind bushes in a garden during the attack. He said when he came out he ran past Mr Jackson lying on the ground but did not realise he was seriously injured.

The jury was told a screwdriver had penetrated his brain by several inches.

Akhtar, of Salt Street, Khan, of Priestman Close, and Zaman of Apsley Crescent, admitted attempting to steal the car but had denied murdering Mr Jackson.

Zaman was also sentenced to four years for stealing cars, Khan was given an additional three years for similar charges and Akhtar was handed five additional years for car crime and an assault on an inmate while on remand.

After the hearing, Detective Superintendent Bob Bridgestock, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "The way of life for these three was to steal what they wanted and the use of violence was entirely unnecessary to escape on that night.

"Kevin suffered appalling injuries and was left on the road to die."

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  The BBC's Richard Bilton
"Tonight all three men are starting life sentences"
  Det Supt Bob Bridgestock led the investigation
"If you use violence you will get substantial sentences"
  Kevin Jackson's father-in-law Roy Wayman
"We hope this will give a message to others that they will get caught"

Click here to go to BBC Berkshire Online
See also:

20 Dec 02 | England
20 Dec 02 | England
20 Dec 02 | England
20 Dec 02 | England
19 Dec 02 | England
02 Dec 02 | England
12 Nov 02 | England
01 Mar 02 | England
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