Two men jailed for murder of Rochdale taxi driver who asked passengers not to eat fast food in cab

taxi driver
Ali Asghar's family described him as ''a loving and devoted son, brother and friend.'' Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Two men have been jailed for life for the murder of a taxi driver in Rochdale, who was beaten to death after asking his passengers not eat in his car.

Ali Asghar, 39, was set upon by the men in the early hours of 30 October 2021 after picking them up in his taxi.

He suffered "catastrophic" head injuries in a brutal attack after he challenged one of his passengers about eating a chicken burger and chips in his vehicle.

Mr Asghar was punched in the head by Connor McPartland, 20, and Martin Treacy, 18, and then kicked while he lay on the ground.

He died in hospital two weeks later.

The defendants were convicted of his murder by a jury at Manchester Crown Court.

Connor McPartland, 20, and Martin Treacy, 18 were sentenced on Monday May 23, 2022. Credit: GMP

Mr Asghar's family described him as ''a loving and devoted son, brother and friend who will be forever missed.''

At a sentencing hearing on Monday, the victim's younger brother, Azhar Ali, said he had initially walked past Mr Asghar as he lay on a stretcher in a hospital corridor.

He said: "Ali's face was unrecognisable from the bloodied facial injuries he had sustained. It was only as I passed his shoes that I recognised these as belonging to my brother."

Reading his victim personal statement from the witness box, he told the court his brother had left his native Pakistan to settle in the UK in 2009.

Mr Asghar went on to gain his taxi licence as he continued to work "extreme hours" to financially support his family back home, the court was told.

His brother said: "Every day my mum tortures herself for agreeing to let Ali go to the UK and the fact that he worked so hard to give his parents and family a better life.

"Ali never reached an age where he could reap the rewards of his hard work spending his life dedicated to his family.

"Ali was a selfless individual who lived for others and never hesitated to offer his help and support where he could.

"In the lowest of times, he could cheer anybody up and put a smile on their face with his lovely nature and sense of humour."

McPartland and Treacy's trial heard that they had ordered an Uber to take them from Oldham town centre to Rochdale.

Marland was jailed after a trial at Manchester Crown Court.

During the journey Treacy began eating in the back of Mr Asghar's vehicle and swore at the driver when he was asked to stop.

Mr Asghar pulled over at a petrol station in Queensway, Rochdale, and was then set upon outside his vehicle by the pair.

Sentencing, Judge Alan Conrad QC told the defendants: "Ali Asghar had the misfortune to meet you two, a pair of drunken, entitled louts.

"A decent hard-working man, he was a credit to those close to him and society in general.

"The attack upon him followed a dispute for which he was in no way to blame.

"You both attacked him and both bear equal responsibility for the violence and the consequences.

"This was a savage and sustained attack. You left him lying on the ground with dreadful injuries and you both ran off and started to plan your cover-up."

Officers investigating at the scene on Queensway in Rochdale in October 2021. Credit: MEN

McPartland, of Hollins Road, Oldham, was sentenced to a minimum of 14 years and six months in custody.

Treacy - who had admitted manslaughter but denied murder - of Gawsworth Close, Oldham, will be locked up for a minimum of 13 years and six months.

Their barristers said both were remorseful and planned to use their time in custody to "learn and improve".

Following sentencing, senior investigating officer Phil Reade, from Greater Manchester Police, said: "The senseless actions of Treacy and McPartland that morning were utterly despicable and led to a family losing a much-loved son and brother.

"These two men are clearly violent individuals and I am relieved that they are now off our streets and have time to think about their actions and the hurt and sorrow they have caused."