Radio Sandwell Local News

75-yr-old grandfather killed after leaving evening prayers

2013-04-30 21:19:23

A grandfather of 22 has been stabbed to death while on his way home from evening prayers in Birmingham.

Mohammed Saleem, 75, was found after being stabbed four times in Green Lane, Small Heath, on Monday night. He died later in hospital.

Police said there was no evidence he had been the victim of a robbery.

Mr Saleem's daughter, Shazia Khan, said it was thought her father, who walked with a stick, may have tried to fight off his attacker.

Ms Khan said her father had been on his way home from evening prayers at his mosque in Green Lane when he was attacked at about 22:30 BST.

"He was very well respected in the community," she said.

"Neighbours have told us they heard screams and called for an ambulance. It's thought he may have tried to fight off his attacker."

She said her father was "such a lovely man" and the family was "so shocked" he had died in "such a brutal way".

'Very vulnerable'

Ms Khan said her father used to walk to the mosque five times each day.

He lived in a terraced house off Little Green Lane with his wife.

Post-mortem tests are being carried out.

The area where the attack happened, which also includes Wyndcliffe Primary School, was cordoned-off on Tuesday.

Mr Saleem was found injured near the school, which has been closed temporarily following the stabbing.

Police urged drivers and pedestrians to avoid Little Green Lane and surrounding roads in Small Heath.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said Mr Saleem had been taken to Heartlands Hospital but was confirmed dead shortly after arriving there.

West Midlands Police said detectives were examining CCTV footage and speaking to local residents.

Det Supt Mark Payne said they were still trying to work out the motive behind the "vicious attack".

He said: "He doesn't appear to have been an obvious robbery target - he wasn't carrying a lot of cash, he didn't carry a mobile phone - we are a bit puzzled as to what the motive might be at this stage.

"He was a 75-year-old man, he was very vulnerable and he couldn't defend himself. It's important for people in the community to come forward and tell us what they know."

'Bubbly character'

Det Supt Payne said there was also "no evidence" that Mr Saleem had been a victim of a racist attack but said officers were examining every line of inquiry.

Tassadaq Hussein, head of community relations and development at the mosque on Green Lane, described Mr Saleem as "a good man with a strong sense of humour".

Mr Hussein said: "We are quite shocked and saddened because he was a very bubbly character.

"I think people are quite anxious and quite surprised and I think they'll be slightly wary leaving the mosque in the evenings."


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