Luton shooting was not a "botched" attempted murder, court is told

Atif Ali nearly died in the shooting in Luton in May last year. Credit: Bedfordshire Police.

A shooting which left a love rival fighting for his life in a Luton street was not a botched attempted murder but a "perfectly executed" attack intended only to injure, a court was told today.

Atif Ali, who was 27 at the time, was shot in the leg on Dunstable Road on May 20 last year. He was left seriously injured and nearly died.

Six men - including Mr Ali's love rival, 28-year-old Shahzad Mahrood, from Luton - are accused of conspiring to murder him and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.

Trainee accountant Mr Ali was engaged to Mahroof's ex-girlfriend and it is alleged the defendant hired Bernard Pillay, 41, from Uxbridge, to kill him.

The prosecution claim the victim only survived because Pillay botched the shooting.

But today, Mahroof's lawyer Imran Khan insisted the plan was not botched but had in fact been perfectly executed. He told the court his client had only ever intended to damage Atif Ali's leg.

Four other men deny charges of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm. 23-year-old Matthew McCafferty, from Flitwick, is accused of supplying the gun, while Mark O'Neill, 41 from Hayes in Middlesex, is said to have been the driver.

Mahboob Baig and Sajed Hussain, both 31 and from Luton, are also accused of being involved in the plot.

The trial continues.