Tyne & Wear

Pair guilty of Tipu Sultan takeaway boss death

Tipu Sultan Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption Tipu Sultan's family had run an Indian takeaway business in South Shields for several years

A man has been found guilty of murdering a takeaway boss who was shot in the neck at close range.

Tipu Sultan, 32, was gunned down behind the Herbs & Spice Kitchen in South Shields, South Tyneside, in April.

Michael McDougall, 47, was found guilty of murder after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court. He was sentenced to life with a minimum jail term of 34 years.

Co-accused Michael Mullen, 24, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 12 years.

Mullen, who drove McDougall to the scene of the attack, will serve half that period in prison and half on licence.

The pair had previously denied murder.

'Robbery gone wrong'

The court was told the victim was shot through the neck with a 12-bore shotgun on the evening of 7 April.

Prosecutor Richard Wright QC said the real motive for the murder may never be known.

Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption Michael McDougall (l) and Michael Mullen had both denied murder

In evidence, Mullen said his co-accused told him the death was a "robbery gone wrong".

He told the court McDougall asked for a lift to the shop on his motorbike to buy cigarettes.

He said he parked near the takeaway and McDougall got off the bike. He later heard a bang and McDougall then returned.

Mullen said he only realised his friend was armed when they got off the bike.

Popular figure

The jury also found McDougall guilty of two charges of possession of a firearm.

Mullen was cleared of a charge of possessing a firearm and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

More than 800 people attended the funeral of Tipu Sultan, who was a popular figure among South Tyneside and Wearside's Bangladeshi community.

In a statement released following the sentencing, his family said: "The violent way in which Tipu was taken from us has changed our lives beyond recognition.

"Our family is now broken and the pain felt by his loss cannot be put into words."

Image caption The court heard that Mr Sultan died in a "robbery gone wrong"

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