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Family of murdered Tipu Sultan say they are 'broken'

At the time of the muder, Tipu's family spoke to the press Credit: ITV Tyne Tees (library image from 2015)

The family of murdered takeaway worker Tipu Sultan say their family is now 'broken', but that they welcome today's outcome after one man was found guilty of his murder.

A second was found guilty of manslaughter after a trail at Newcastle Crown Court.

“This has been the most difficult year for our family.

The violent way in which Tipu was taken from us has changed our lives beyond recognition.

Our family is now broken and the pain felt by his loss cannot be put into words.

"We will always remember Tipu as the wonderful father, son, brother and husband he was. We all talk about Tipu to his children every day and they will always know how much he loved them and cared for them.

It brings us all some happiness to be around the children who have their father's looks and personality.

"As a family, we would all like to thank all the witnesses that have come forward in this case, in particular the young witnesses who gave evidence. We know this must have been very difficult for you all but we are hugely grateful for your contribution to today's verdict.

“We have been praying for justice and today we welcome the outcome. It brings a small amount of closure and peace of mind to help us move on with our lives."

– Mahsum Sultan, on behalf of the family

Man dies after falling from cliffs at South Shields

A man has died after falling from Marsden Grotto cliffs in South Shields.

A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said: "At 8am this morning (Sun March 13) we received a report that a man had fallen from the cliffs at Marsden Grotto and into the water.

"Police and coastguard responded and the body of a man was recovered from the water.

"Despite the efforts of the emergency services he was pronounced dead at the scene."

Enquiries are ongoing to identify the man and anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101

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Melissa's family 'showed dignity in almost impossible circumstances.'

Police have spoken of the dignity shown by the family of Melissa Liddle, after she died at the hands of her 'controlling' boyfriend at her home South Shields ten months ago.

Today Anthony Ross was detained at a secure hospital indefinitely, after he admitted to a charge of manslaughter, on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

It was a double-tragedy for Melissa's family.

Unable to cope with his grief, her brother Liam took his own life a few months later.

This is what Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fairlamb said outside Newcastle Crown Court today:

Tragic Melissa 'absolutely doted on her children'

The family of Melissa Liddle, the South Shields mother of two who was killed by her 'controlling' boyfriend on Mother's Day last year, paid tribute to her outside Newcastle Crown Court today.

A statement read out by her grandfather Robert Lloyd also spoke of Melissa's brother Liam, who took his own life, unable to cope with the death of his sister.

Today, Anthony Ross was detained at a secure hospital indefinitely, after he had admitted a charged of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

'No clear motive' for Tipu Sultan killing, jury told.

A true motive behind the murder of a popular takeaway boss killed in a drive-by shooting in South Shields may forever remain remain a mystery, a court has heard.

Tipu Sultan was shot at Herbs and Spice on Lake Avenue last April 7, 2015.

Tipu Sultan was shot dead outside his family's restaurant. Credit: Northumbria Police

The 32-year-old, from Sunderland, was blasted in the neck by a sawn-off shotgun and died from "extensive trauma and blood loss".

It is claimed the motorbike passenger approached the shop and carried out the killing of the married dad while the rider waited to get them away from the scene straight afterwards.

The court heard children were in the vicinity of the shooting at the time.

Prosecutors claim Michael Mullen, 25, of Hawthorne Avenue, South Shields, was the rider of the motorbike and Michael McDougall, 47, of Hylton Avenue, South Shields, was the passenger who carried out the act of killing.

Prosecutor Richard Wright QC told the court robbery appears to be an unlikely motive behind the murder and an unknown grudge or even mistaken identity may lie behind it.

Mr Wright said while Mr Sultan had had money worries and enjoyed gambling in the past, there was nothing in his background to suggest he would become a target.

Mr Wright said: "There does not appear to have been any clear motive for any person to want to harm Tipu Sultan, let alone kill him.

"Whether they bore him a grudge, whether they acted on instructions of others, whether they killed the wrong man or something altogether else lay behind the shooting matters little, perhaps.

"The prosecution does not have to prove motive for his murder, we have an obligation to prove who killed Tipu Sultan and we will do that by focusing on the clear evidence it was these two, acting together, who did just that."

The court heard Mr Sultan had been working at his takeaway with his father and their hired chef when a man came to the door at the back of the premises.

Without making any demand or real conversation, the visitor opened fire with the shotgun he was carrying.

Mr Sultan suffered a severe wound to his neck and died quickly from the injury.

Prosecutors claim it was McDougall who "coldly gunned down" Mr Sultan and that Mullen was the driver who took them to and from the murder scene.

Mr Wright said both men were "equally responsible" for the death.

McDougall and Mullen both deny murder, manslaughter and possession of a firearm.

Mullen denies a charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

McDougall denies a further charge of possession of a firearm.

The court heard forensic testing can prove a shotgun had previously been discharged at McDougall's home.

A sawn off shotgun found on wasteland close to an address associated to McDougall could be scientifically linked to him.

Mr Wright added: "The recovered gun may not be the murder weapon but it is further evidence that connects McDougall to precisely the type of weapon used to shoot Tipu Sultan."

Both men deny the charges they face.

Jurors were shown cctv footage of the motorbike, which was later found burnt out, just before and after the killing.

The trial continues.

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Man acting suspiciously believed to be an isolated incident

Officers searching in South Shields after receiving reports of a man acting suspiciously in Chichester Road have said they believe this is an "isolated incident".

Armed police and a helicopter have been involved in the hunt, which started at 11am this morning.

Police attended and carried out a search of the area to trace the man, these searches utilised a number of police resources to assist with the search.

Initial enquiries suggest this is an isolated incident of a report of a man acting suspiciously.

However, police recognise incidents such as this can be concerning and officers will remain in the area to offer reassurance to the local community."

– Northumbria Police

Enquiries are continuing into the incident and anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.

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