Radio Sandwell Local News

Casino killer who knifed gambler to death jailed

2013-03-09 12:41:01

Mohammed Muqtar

A killer who stabbed a gambler to death with a foot-long kitchen knife to steal his casino winnings has been jailed for a minimum of 30 years.

Mohammed Muqtar, 25, spent the evening drinking and dancing at a club after murdering Shaspal Bahara in an attack "of rare savagery" in Birmingham city centre.

The unemployed welder, of Bordesley Green Road, Saltley, had previously admitted a charge of manslaughter but was found guilty of murder at Birmingham Crown Court.

Judge Melbourne Inman QC passed a life sentence and ordered him to spend a minimum of 30 years in prison before being considered for release.

After the sentencing, the victim's brother, Kirpal Bahara, said: "It has been terrible for us. It is not something you can celebrate but at least there is some piece of mind now that he is behind bars.

"We will never get over how Muqtar ruthlessly took him away from us.

"I also believe there needs to be a bigger deterrent in this country to stop people thinking they can carry knives.

"I believe that capital punishment should be considered."

Mr Bahara was killed after visiting the Gala Casino in Hill Street. His partner, Lorraine Gilmartin, called for greater security at city casinos after the case.

The court heard that Muqtar had gone out with a "fearsome weapon" on May 12 last year and had visited two bookmakers and then the casino.

Judge Inman said: "Tragically for Mr Bahara in the 30 minutes he was in the casino he won a substantial amount of money. You knew he had."

The court heard Muqtar had then "tracked" his prey, following the 46-year-old CCTV systems designer to Thorp Street in the Chinese quarter.

Muqtar repeatedly stabbed the victim and left the knife embedded in him before making off with £2,600 winnings and getting into a taxi.

The murderer later rang a friend, inviting him to a club in Handsworth saying: "The drinks are on me."

Muqtar told the court he was in debt and was unaware he had actually stabbed Mr Bahara during the attack.

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