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Justice for the family of Rochdale aid worker murdered in Sri Lanka

A Sri Lankan politician and three other men have been jailed for a total of 80 years for the murder of Rochdale aid worker Khuram Shaikh.

The 32-year old was attacked while on holiday with his girlfriend in the resort of Tangelle on Christmas Day 2011.

The former council leader in Tangelle was given a 20 year sentence.

This report from Daniel Hewitt, who has followed this case from the start:

And Tony spoke to Nasser Shaikh, Khuram's brother, via Skype from the Sri Lankan capital Colombo.

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Brother of Briton killed in Sri Lanka: 'Symbolic moment'

Nasser Shaikh, whose brother Khuram was murdered in Sri Lanka in 2011, said he hoped the legacy of his brother would continue. Mr Shaikh said the sentencing of Khuram's murderers is "a symbolic moment."

The 32-year old Red Cross worker from Rochdale was murdered at a southern tourist resort on Christmas Day 2011.

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RSPCA appeal over fears cats "poisoned" in Rochdale

The RSPCA.

The RSPCA is appealing for information after three cats from the same neighbourhood in Rochdale died within hours of each other.

The three male cats, two ginger and one black and white, all lived at properties just five doors down from each other on Norton Road and Netley Avenue and were aged between 16 months and two years old.

One cat was found collapsed under a car, the second cat had died after a seizure in it’s garden while the third was found dead on the owner’s kitchen floor with froth and vomit around his mouth having suffered from a seizure sometime in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

"Due to the circumstances all three cats were found in we think they were poisoned.

"All three cats were discovered with froth around their mouths and had been perfectly healthy before they died.

"None of them had suffered any form of trauma either.

“It is so sad and must be a real shock for all the families.

"It is more than a coincidence that these three young cats all died within hours of each other in such a short distance apart.

“We do not yet know if this poisoning was a tragic accident or if it was a deliberate act but we would urge anyone with information to come forward.

“We would urge people to be very careful when using poisonous substances - such as slug pellets and anti-freeze - in their gardens or outside spaces.

“If of course this turns out to be deliberate poisoning then we need to stress that it is illegal to cause an animal to suffer in this way and anyone found guilty could face a maximum sentence of up to six months in prison and a £20,000 fine.”

– RSPCA inspector Catherine Byrnes.

Anyone with information about suspicious activity in the area should contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.

Rochdale couple "starved" child of food

A man who deprived his ten-year-old step-daughter of food, causing her to become seriously unwell, has been jailed for three years.

The child's mother, who allowed the abuse to happen, was given a suspended sentence.

The couple cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Minshull Street crown Court.

"This is a tragic case and had the abuse continued much longer there is a very real possibility it could have cost this young girl her life.

"To knowingly inflict such abuse on a young, innocent and vulnerable child defies belief and goes against the very basic instincts of human nature.

"She is now in a loving, caring and nurturing environment but the abuse she has suffered will most likely stay with her for the rest of her life."

– Detective Inspector Caroline Ward, Greater Manchester Police

The girl was found collapsed and unresponsive on the bathroom floor of her then Rochdale home in April last year.

Ambulance crews said she was severely malnourished and had a distended abdomen, consistent with a child who has not been fed.

She also had gross nutritional deficiencies.

She told police how she had stopped being regularly fed, that she would be given food intermittently - including being fed raw potato peelings - and would not be able to eat with the rest of the family, claims that were verified by siblings.

Photographs were taken of the home address and a room believed to be the victim's showed no clothes or possessions.

There were toys and electrical equipment for other children at the address.

The girl also disclosed how, shortly after being admitted to hospital, her mother had said that if she did not tell anyone about her home life then it would not happen again and she would get fed every day and would even be given "pudding and custard".

The victim's 32-year-old stepfather admitted causing a child to suffer serious physical harm and was sentenced to three years in prison at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.

His partner and the child's mother, a 30-year-old woman, admitted allowing a child to suffer serious physical harm and was given a 15 month suspended prison sentence.

Detective Inspector Caroline Ward, of Greater Manchester Police, said it was a tragic case.

  1. National

Killed Briton's brother: Today is 'a symbolic moment'

The family of Khuram Shaikh, the Briton murdered in Sri Lanka in 2011, said today's sentencing of Mr Shaikh's killers is "a symbolic moment."

"Those who killed my brother have been punished and are now behind bars for a long time," said the victim's elder brother Nasser Shaikh.

Today, the country has done what many people hoped and prayed for. Those who killed my brother have been punished and are now behind bars for a long time. Our campaign was not only about justice, but to bring awareness of the wonderful work my brother did around the world, working in humanitarian aid. He is a true inspiration for many and we hope his legacy continues with those he left behind.

– Nasser Shaikh, brother of Khuram Shaikh

The 32-year old Red Cross worker from Rochdale was murdered at a southern tourist resort on Christmas Day 2011.

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Sri Lankan politician jailed for killing a British tourist

A Sri Lankan court has sentenced a ruling party politician to 20 years in prison for killing a British tourist and raping his Russian girlfriend more than two years ago.

Khuram Shaikh was killed while on holiday in Sri Lanka in December 2011. Credit: ITV Granada

Three others were given the same sentence as Sampath Vidanapathirana by the High Court in Colombo.

It found them guilty of murdering Khuram Shaikh and raping his girlfriend at a southern tourist resort on Christmas Day 2011.

Nasser Shaikh: 'Today is a symbolic day'

Nasser (right) with his brother Khuram who was killed while on holiday in Sri Lanka in 2011 Credit: ITV Granada

Nasser Shaikh, the elder brother brother of Khuram, has released this statement from Colombo where four men have been jailed for his murder:

“Today, the country has done what many people hoped and prayed for. Those who killed my brother have been punished and are now behind bars for a long time.

"Our campaign was not only about justice, but to bring awareness of the wonderful work my brother did around the world, working in humanitarian aid. He is a true inspiration for many and we hope his legacy continues with those he left behind.

"Whilst our family and friends find it difficult to come to terms with the tragic loss, I hope today can bring some comfort to everyone involved that we achieved the justice we set out for and the country can move forward in a better place for many, ensuring no other person suffers the same fate as my brother.

"I wish to thank everyone who embarked on my personal journey around the world and supported it immensely, which includes the Sri Lankan public.

"I would also like to thank the British Government who have been instrumental in seeking answers for our family, the Sri Lankan officials for progressing the trial towards its resolution, but more importantly to acknowledge the bravery and defiance shown by those who gave witness accounts in the case.

"Today is a symbolic moment: a day the country delivered justice – a day I delivered my promise to a brother.”

– Nasser Shaikh

Statement from British High Commission in Sri Lanka following Khuram Shaikh verdicts

“We welcome the verdicts and sentences handed down today to those responsible for the murder of Khuram Shaikh. We hope that this will begin some closure for his family and friends who have faced a long and difficult fight for justice.

"The officials of the Attorney General’s office have shown great professionalism and integrity and we would like to thank them. We will continue to monitor any developments in the case closely.”

Four men jailed for murder of Rochdale aid worker

Credit: .

A prominent Sri Lankan politician and three other men have each been jailed for 20 years for killing aid worker Khuram Shaikh.

The 32-year old was attacked while on holiday on Christmas Day in 2011.

Sampath Vidanapathirana, a former council leader in the beach resort of Tangelle, was today found guilty of Khuram's murder at the High Court in Colombo.

Two of the accused were acquitted.

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