News in Brief: Murder victim’s body is flown home

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Murder victim’s body is flown home

THE BODY of a murdered man who had moved to Sheffield 10 years ago for a safer life has been flown back home to Afghanistan after he was stabbed to death near his home in Callow Mount, Gleadless Valley.

Father-of-one Zabihullah Rafiq, aged 30, was flown back to Kabul over the weekend to be buried in his homeland where his frail, elderly mother still lives.

Police believe the attack, early on Sunday, May 29, was a botched robbery. They are awaiting the results of forensics tests in the hope the killer’s DNA was left behind.

Forty detectives are working on the case. Det Supt Andy Thompson said: “The community has been really helpful – there’s only about 30 residents in the six tower blocks in the area that we have not yet seen.”

TUC chief in city

TRADES Union Council General Secretary Brendan Barber will tour the Forgemasters factory in Brightside Lane tomorrow (Friday) and will be briefed about the company’s potential to generate ‘green’ jobs and how UK manufacturing can be supported.

He is spending a day in Yorkshire, meeting local authority chief executives, council leaders, employees and union representatives as part of the TUC’s campaign to promote an economic alternative to the Government’s spending cuts.

The itinerary includes meeting dancers and union reps at the Northern Ballet in Leeds.

Garage protest victory

RESIDENTS this week persuaded councillors to halt the use of extra repair bays at a garage at the corner of Meerbrook Road and Northcote Avenue.

Fourteen letters of objection were submitted complaining of noise, parking problems and other disturbance. They were backed by local councillors Frank Taylor and Denise Reaney.

Council officers said the use of the garage had been long established, the operating hours for the additional bays were restricted to weekdays and they did not consider that residents were being unduly disturbed. They were overruled by councillors who refused retrospective planning permission on Monday.

Academy ballot plea

TAPTON parent Mike Hughes is championing a bid to oppose plans for the secondary school to become an academy.

Mr Hughes, of Redmires Road, wrote again to chair of governors Caroline Bagley this week, demanding a ballot of parents.

He said: “I am shocked and concerned at the lack of consultation and balanced information being offered to parents by the governing body,”

He claims the anti-academy lobby has not been given a chance to put its views and requests that a spokesman from the Anti Academies Alliance is allowed to speak at a school meeting, due on Tuesday evening.

Concert flypast

A BIG band concert at the Botanical Gardens in Sheffield on Wednesday, June 29 will raise money for the charity Help for Heroes and feature a Battle of Britain memorial flypast scheduled for 7pm.

Guest of honour on the night, featuring Keith Peters and Sheffield University Big Bands, will be Ben Parkinson from Doncaster, who was injured by a land mine in Afghanistan.

Music in the Gardens continues with Paul Carrack and the Dizzy Club on the Thursday, Courtney Pine and Omar Puente on the Friday and Dodworth Colliery Band and the Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra on the Saturday.

Rotary International is organising the events in aid of Weston Park and the Children’s Hospitals, Shelter Box and Help For Heroes.

Silent auction

A SILENT auction in the Winter Garden for 11 pieces of art by local artists raised more than £3,100 for the British Red Cross. Artists who donated work were Pete McKee, Caroline Appleyard, John Paul Cooke, Kristan Baggaley, Phlegm, Pete McKee, Nigel Bendle, Sarah Abbott, Mark H Wilson, Nick Deaking and Victoria Butterell.