Two friends have been convicted of murder after an Uber driver was brutally killed. Ali Asghar, 38, was attacked by Connor McPartland, 20, and Martin Treacy, 18, after the pair got into their Mercedes cab over Halloween weekend last year.
Mr Asghar had stopped the taxi after Treacy insulted him when he asked the teenager to stop eating a takeaway in the back of the car. In the ensuing confrontation, Mr Asghar was brutally attacked, suffering devastating head injuries which proved fatal two weeks after the attack.
This followed earlier confusion after McPartland misspelled the name of their intended destination. Treacy admitted manslaughter before trial, but denied murder. McPartland has denied murder and manslaughter. Now, after eight hours and 27 minutes of deliberation, a jury has found McPartland and Treacy guilty of murder. They are to be tried on Monday May 23.
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Manchester Crown Court heard how the couple dated in Oldham town center on October 29 last year before McPartland ordered an Uber to take them to Rochdale. They had planned to meet some girls and then attend a house party for Halloween.
McPartland asked to be taken to Coco in Rochdale via the popular app. He intended to be taken to Koko’s, a nightclub in downtown Rochdale. Coco’s is a restaurant just outside the city center, the court heard.
The confusion was resolved, but Mr Asghar stopped the taxi soon after when he challenged Treacy who had started eating a chicken burger and fries from the back of his car.
Treacy insulted him and refused to stop eating. Mr Asghar pulled up near a petrol station on Queensway in Rochdale around 4am, and much of the ensuing confrontation was caught on CCTV.
Mr Asghar was the victim of a “fierce, brutal and utterly ruthless attack”. This culminated when he was pushed to the ground and hit his head against the steering wheel of his car, causing him to bleed profusely. He suffered catastrophic brain damage and died two weeks later.
Treacy admitted manslaughter and did not testify at trial. McPartland, who has denied murder and manslaughter, said he did not hit Mr Asghar in the head and claimed he tried to act as a peacemaker after noticing the driver taxi driver had a bloody nose.
He told Mr Asghar’s family he was ‘deeply sorry’ and ‘ashamed’ of his actions, but maintained his innocence.
But McPartland, of Hollins Road, Oldham, and Treacy, of Gawsworth Close, Oldham were both convicted of felony murder. They will be judged on Monday (May 23).
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