Sheffield murderer loses appeal against jail term

Crime:Latest news.
Crime:Latest news.

A SHEFFIELD youth facing at least 26 years behind bars for the murder of a dad in a botched robbery has failed in an appeal against his minimum jail term.

Hassan Khan Maruf, 20, and a second man who is still on-the-run, murdered 30-year-old Zabihullah Rafiq outside his flat in Gleadless last May.

The two knew Mr Rafiq would be carrying money as he made his way home from his job at a pizza restaurant.

He died after the second man stabbed him in the chest, but that man, unlike Maruf, has managed to avoid being apprehended since they fled the country.

In February, Maruf, of Hampton Road, Fir Vale, was convicted of murder at Sheffield Crown Court and sentenced to at least 26 years behind bars.

Dismissing his challenge to the sentence at the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Stanley Burnton said the killer deserved every day of his punishment.

The court heard Maruf and the other man armed themselves and donned masks to lie in wait for Mr Rafiq outside his flat in the early hours of May 20, 2011.

When he arrived home, the second man rushed at him and plunged a knife into his chest. Mr Rafiq was carrying £700 cash, but they did not take it.

The two killers fled the country and, although the second has so far evaded capture, Maruf was arrested in France.

Lord Justice Stanley Burnton said: “In our judgment, this was a sentence justified for this serious attack.”