Murder victim ‘had no known enemies’

Murder scene: Callow Mount.
Murder scene: Callow Mount.

POLICE have been unable to discover a motive for the murder of a Sheffield man just yards from his home.

Zabihullah Rafiq, aged 30, was attacked at the communal entrance to his block of flats on Callow Mount, Gleadless Valley.

Police say the married father-of-one was not known to them and have failed to find anyone with a grudge against him. They described him as a ‘very, very popular man’ who ‘had no enemies.’

Det Supt Andy Thompson is leading the hunt for the killer. He said with no obvious motive for the attack, detectives are still examining the theory that he may have been the victim of an attempted robbery.

Mr Rafiq, who was known as Zabi, still had cash, his mobile phone and car keys on him when his body was found but police have not yet come up with any other plausible explanations for his death other than an attempted robbery.

Det Supt Thompson said the victim was a ‘creature of habit’ and used to return home at 4am five days a week after finishing his shift at Pronto Pizza on Glossop Road.

He said: “I am not discounting that someone did not know that and someone was not lying in wait for him, but I am not ruling out that the attack was part of an attempted robbery either.

“We have spoken to family and friends and they say he has not got any enemies in the world - he was very, very popular, he was not known to us and there is no suggestion he was involved in any criminality whatsoever.

“He was a hard-working married man with a young daughter who are absolutely devastated at this.”

Police know he left work at 3.45am on Sunday and was found by a resident returning home just 12 minutes later.

Officers want to hear from anyone who was in the area between 3am and 4am that day.

They are carrying out door-to-door enquiries in all the flats in Mr Rafiq’s block and five others in the area, which could involve speaking to around 1,000 people.

A team of 60 officers are working on the case.

A post mortem examination revealed Mr Rafiq died of a single stab wound to his chest but there were no other injuries on his body, including defensive marks.

Contact 0114 2963014 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.