Witnesses jailed for lying during Atif Ali shooting trial

Atif Ali was shot in the leg in May 2013
Atif Ali was shot in the leg in May 2013

Two women have been jailed after lying in court during an attempted murder case.

Nazeem Dad, 29, and Afjay Fatima, 34, both of Argyll Avenue, Luton, were sentenced at Luton Crown Court for lying when giving evidence to court following the shooting of Atif Ali in May 2013.

Mr Ali was shot in the leg in Leicester Road, Luton, by Bernard Pillay, 42, of Campion Close, Uxbridge, who had been hired to kill the accountant by Shahzad Mahroof, 29, of Selbourne Road, Luton.

The two women had provided corroborating information to police surrounding an incident prior to the shooting, in which Mahroof threatened Ali in their presence.

When giving evidence in court, both women changed their accounts to say Mahroof was not present and there were no threats made.

Dad and Fatima were subsequently arrested and charged with perjury.

They both pleaded guilty to the offence last month.

Today, judge Michael Kay QC stated he was ‘in no doubt’ that the women’s actions were a premeditated attempt to move guilt away from Mahroof.

Nazeem Dad was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment while Afjay Fatima received a nine month prison sentence.

Detective Constable Martin Hart said: “We welcome the custodial sentences for these women. They thought they could get away with lying to the court, with the aim of allowing a dangerous man to walk free.

“Giving evidence when sworn in at court is a fundamental bedrock of the justice system and we cannot tolerate those who try and undermine it.

“I hope these jail terms serve as a stark warning to anyone who thinks they can lie to the court – we will take action.”

Mahroof, Pillay and the man who supplied the shotgun, Matthew McCafferty, 24, of Roman Road, Flitwick, Bedfordshire, were all convicted of conspiracy to murder last August and are all currently serving custodial sentences.