Burngreave, Pitsmoor and Darnall: The Sheffield ‘turf war’ which led to a teenager’s death

Police and forensic teams at the scene at Coleridge Road, Darnall.
Police and forensic teams at the scene at Coleridge Road, Darnall.

A BRIGHT young student from Sheffield was killed after weeks of escalating tension between Bengali and Somali youths from different areas of Sheffield - today The Star can reveal the background to the killing.

On Tuesday Aminur Rahman, aged 20, of Jubilee Road, Darnall, was jailed for eight years after he admitted mowing down Abdullah Awil Mohammed.

The 18-year-old civil engineering student died after a car driven by Bengali man Rahman, ploughed into him and his fellow Somali pals on March 17.

The car hit three of the teenagers before smashing into a street sign which fell on to Mr Mohammed’s head.

Moments later he was pronounced dead.

During the hearing Sheffield Crown Court heard the fighting had started nearly a month earlier, on February 23, when Bengali boy Shahid Miah, 17, was involved in a fight with Somali Ali Mohammed, 16.

Prosecuting barrister David Myerson QC told a jury that the scrap sparked a ‘turf war’ between Somali youths in Burngreave and Pitsmoor and Bengali teenagers in Darnall. He stressed the fight was not about ethnicity or race – but was over territory.

The tensions escalated over the coming weeks, with more fighting, until it reached boiling point on March 17.

That day a group of Somali boys, looking for Shahid Miah, boarded the number 52 bus and travelled into Darnall. Armed with sticks and metal bars, groups of Somalis and Bengali teenagers clashed in the area around Staniforth Road.

At one point the Somalis converged outside a house on Nidd Road East, thinking a party was being held there.

In fact, the house was the location of a wake, where an elderly Bengali grandfather had died earlier in the day.

The Somalis tried to force their way into the house, banging on the door and enraging the inhabitants.

The incident sparked a furious reaction from the Bengali community, and, outnumbered, the Somali teenagers fled back to Pitsmoor, some by bus and others by taxi.

Ali Mohammed, the Somali 16-year-old involved in the fight which sparked the tensions, called the police, who took him home.

Mr Myerson told the court: “It’s fair to say the Somali incursion into Darnall did not end well for the boys who started it.”

But meanwhile, an older group of Somali boys heard rumours their younger brothers and cousins were in trouble in Darnall.

Former Tapton School pupil Abdi Mohammed, 19, was told his little brother Ali had been kidnapped.

He and best friend Abdulla Awil Mohammed had been celebrating Abdi’s selection to study at York University.

But when they heard about the trouble they walked to Darnall with some other men to try and rescue the younger teenagers.

By that time the trouble was dying down – but one group of Bengalis, enraged by the earlier attack on Nidd Road East – was driving around looking for Somalis.

Aminur Rahman, aged 20, of Jubilee Road, Darnall, was driving the red Kia Picanto,

At one point he stopped outside a shop to pick up his friend Muhibur Jahangir, 20, of Flaxby Road, Darnall – who has been cleared of all charges.

Rahman told him: “Jump in, we are on a mission.”

Unable to find the younger group, Abdi, Abdulla and their friends were on the way back home when the Bengali teenagers spotted them on Coleridge Road.

The car swerved across the road and onto the pavement.

The jury heard the car’s tyre burst as it hit the kerb and Rahman lost control of it, ploughing into the group and smashing into the sign – which warned drivers to slow down because of the nearby primary school.

Abdulla received a deep head wound and within minutes was dead. The Somalis attacked the car passengers and then fled, while the Bengalis called an ambulance.

Abdulla Mohammed, who was in his first year at Sheffield Hallam University, was described in court as a someone with a ‘bright future’.