Two 'drunken louts' jailed for life over murder of taxi driver after chicken burger row

Two “drunken, entitled louts” have been jailed for life for the murder of a “selfless” taxi driver

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Ali Asghar, 39, suffered catastrophic head injuries in a brutal attack after he challenged one of his passengers about eating a chicken burger and chips in his vehicle.

He was punched in the head by Connor McPartland, 20, and Martin Treacy, 18, and then kicked while he lay defenceless on the ground.

He died in hospital two weeks later.

The defendants were convicted by a jury at Manchester Crown Court last week of his murder in the early hours of October 30.

At a sentencing hearing on Monday, the victim’s younger brother, Azhar Ali, said he had initially walked past Mr Asghar as he lay on a stretcher in a hospital corridor.

He said: “Ali’s face was unrecognisable from the bloodied facial injuries he had sustained. It was only as I passed his shoes that I recognised these as belonging to my brother.”

Reading his victim personal statement from the witness box, he told the court his brother had left his native Pakistan to settle in the UK in 2009.

The economics graduate started delivering leaflets, worked in a McDonald’s restaurant and qualified to work in security.

Mr Asghar went on to gain his taxi licence as he continued to work “extreme hours” to financially support his family back home, the court was told.

Martin Treacy
Martin Treacy

His brother said: “Every day my mum tortures herself for agreeing to let Ali go to the UK and the fact that he worked so hard to give his parents and family a better life.

“Ali never reached an age where he could reap the rewards of his hard work spending his life dedicated to his family.

“Ali was a selfless individual who lived for others and never hesitated to offer his help and support where he could.

“In the lowest of times, he could cheer anybody up and put a smile on their face with his lovely nature and sense of humour.”

McPartland and Treacy’s trial heard that they had ordered an Uber to take them from Oldham town centre to Rochdale.

During the journey Treacy began eating in the back of Mr Asghar’s vehicle and swore at the driver when he was asked to stop.

Mr Asghar pulled over at a petrol station in Queensway, Rochdale, and was then set upon outside his vehicle by the pair.

Connor McPartland
Connor McPartland

Sentencing, Judge Alan Conrad QC told the defendants: “Ali Asghar had the misfortune to meet you two, a pair of drunken, entitled louts.

“A decent hard-working man, he was a credit to those close to him and society in general.

“The attack upon him followed a dispute for which he was in no way to blame. You both attacked him and both bear equal responsibility for the violence and the consequences.

“This was a savage and sustained attack. You left him lying on the ground with dreadful injuries and you both ran off and started to plan your cover-up.”

McPartland, of Hollins Road, Oldham, was sentenced to a minimum of 14 years and six months in custody.

Treacy – who had admitted manslaughter but denied murder – of Gawsworth Close, Oldham, will be locked up for a minimum of 13 years and six months.

Their barristers said both were remorseful and planned to use their time in custody to “learn and improve”.

Following sentencing, senior investigating officer Phil Reade, from Greater Manchester Police, said: “The senseless actions of Treacy and McPartland that morning were utterly despicable and led to a family losing a much-loved son and brother.

“These two men are clearly violent individuals and I am relieved that they are now off our streets and have time to think about their actions and the hurt and sorrow they have caused.”