A woman has been sentenced to nine months in prison this week for lying to police about the whereabouts of a man wanted for attempted murder at a takeaway shop in Bedford.
Shuily Begum, 21, of Francis Bacon Court, Surrey Quays, London, had pleaded not guilty to assisting an offender at a trial at Luton Crown Court in July, but was found guilty by the jury.
On Tuesday (Sept 11) the judge at Cambridge Crown Court also sentenced her to 12 months in prison for a separate offence of conspiracy to steal in relation to an incident at Claire’s Accessories Shop in Stevenage.
Begum pleaded guilty to this offence in August. The sentences will run consecutively, making a total of 21 months in prison.
The attempted murder took place in the Royal Peri Peri chicken shop on November 23, 2011, when Akhtar Miah, 25, of Queen’s Road, London shot a male customer in the face with a shotgun.
Fowwing the court hearing Det Con Sarah Corr of the Beds, Herts and Cambs Major Crime Unit, said: “A man was shot in the face almost at point blank range in a takeaway shop – it was clearly a very serious and shocking offence for which three people are now rightly in prison.
“Knowing how serious the offence was and that the police were looking for Miah, Begum not only lied about having contact with him, she gave him shelter in his efforts to evade justice.
“It’s important to remind people that their own dishonesty in their efforts to assist someone else could cost them dear. And when someone is wanted by the police, it doesn’t actually help them to go on the run, it just makes the situation worse.”
Two other men, 18 year old Fahim Khan of Fenlake Road, Bedford and a 17-year-old who cannot be named by court order, were present at the incident and were found guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear.
The men had been involved in an earlier argument with the customer, aged 34, and took revenge as he stood in the chicken shop waiting for food. Fortunately the man received only relatively minor pellet wounds.
Begum had previously been in a relationship with the main offender Akhtar Miah, 25, of Queen’s Road, London and had a child with him.
When the police were searching for Miah they went to her family’s home in Costin Street, Bedford, to look for him.
She was visiting at the time and initially denied to officers that she knew any one by that name.
But when detectives told her how serious the matter was, she admitted he was the father of her child but then said she no longer had anything to do with him and hadn’t had any contact with him for a year.
She continued with this story as the two teenagers were charged and went through the initial court hearings, while detectives from the Major Crime Unit continued to try to find Miah.
Eventually on December 9, 2011, the Metropolitan Police Service’s armed police caught up with Miah in the early hours of the morning – staying at Begum’s flat in Surrey Quays.
Evidence from her mobile phone showed she had been in constant contact with him at least since November 30.