Man guilty of Solihull taxi driver murder - The Solihull Observer

Man guilty of Solihull taxi driver murder

Solihull Editorial 10th Jul, 2023   0

A TEENAGER has been found guilty of murdering a taxi driver who was stabbed to death in Solihull.

Mohammed Istakhar was found with serious injuries on Braggs Farm Road last November.

West Midlands Police said Mohammed had picked up Oliver Pugh, aged 19, and another man, Luca De-Fazio, aged 18, in his taxi from Birmingham city centre hours before he was attacked.

The pair were captured on CCTV, chasing the 44-year-old towards Lady Lane in Solihull and then seen returning alone to the taxi.

Police said: “As it was driven away from the scene, CCTV captured an item, believed to be Mr Istakhar’s phone, being thrown from the car.

“The taxi was captured pulling up outside Pugh’s house where both men got out and removed the taxi livery and number plates.”

It was later driven to Malpit Close, where it was recovered by police for tests

De-Fazio handed himself in to police the following day and was arrested.

He denied stabbing Mohammed and suggested that it must have been Pugh.

When Mohammed’s body was discovered, Pugh’s passport was found in his pocket.

A wanted appeal was issued for Pugh and following a number of leads from the public he was arrested hiding in a caravan in Derbyshire.

During interview, both denied any involvement in the death, suggesting that the other was to blame.

A jury at Birmingham Crown Court found Pugh guilty of murder and possession of a knife, and De-Fazio not guilty of murder.

De-Fazio was jailed for one month after earlier admitting possession of the knife.

Detective Inspector Michelle Thurgood from the Homicide Team, said: “This was a horrific attack on a father who was out working that night to provide for his family.

“Earlier that evening, Pugh had also assaulted other men for no apparent reason. He was clearly intent on causing harm to others that night.

“Our thoughts remain with Mr Istakhar’s family and I hope this verdict can bring them some closure.”

Pugh will be sentenced for murder on September 22.


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