Ben Hope and Jason Richards murdered 17-year-old Aamir Siddiqi on his doorstep after going to wrong address in Cardiff
Two bungling hitmen who stabbed an innocent schoolboy to death by mistake have been found guilty of his murder.
Ben Hope, 39, and Jason Richards, 38, both from Cardiff, were each paid £1,000 in “blood money” to murder a middle-aged man who owed money to a businessman in 2010.
The “hit” was bungled when the balaclava-clad killers, who were high on drugs, went to the wrong address in Roath, Cardiff. The pair then murdered teenager Aamir Siddiqi by mistake.
Aamir, 17, was stabbed on the doorstep of his home. His frantic parents, Iqbal Amhad and Parveen Siddiqi, fought to save their son but were also stabbed by the pair.
Hope and Richards both denied murdering Aamir, as well as two separate counts of the attempted murder of his parents. They were convicted unanimously of all charges on Friday, a day after the jury retired at Swansea crown court.
Aamir’s family let out a small whoop as the guilty verdicts were read out in court.
The judge, Mr Justice Royce, adjourned sentencing until next Friday so that he could listen at length to both sides before setting a minimum jail term. He told Hope and Richards: “It is inevitable that there is a life sentence and it is inevitable that there will be a very substantial minimum term.”
Outside court, Aamir’s sister Umbareen paid tribute to her murdered brother. She said: “Today’s guilty verdict is the right one and as a family we are both delighted and relieved. On 11 April 2010, a house which was previously filled with love and laughter was brutally destroyed by the callous, vicious attack on our parents and our brother.
“Within seconds our lives changed forever. The world has moved on in almost three years since the murder but for us the attack is as fresh as if it happened yesterday.”
A second sister, Miriam, said: “Aamir was a beautiful person with a bright future. If he was still with us he would be looking forward to turning 21 this year and completing his law degree. He was the heartbeat of our family but his warmth, love, affection and humour touched many people.”