Two thugs murdered cabbie after he asked them to stop eating in Uber

Two ‘extremely drunk’ thugs who kicked an Uber driver to death in ‘ferocious and brutal’ attack after he asked them to stop eating a burger in his cab are jailed for total of 28 years

  • Ali Asghar, 39, asked Martin Treacy to stop eating chips and burger in his Uber 
  • Connor McPartland, 20 and Treacy, 18, punched him in head when he pulled over
  • They they kicked him while he lay on the ground. Mr Asghar died two weeks later
  • Both ‘drunken, entitled louts’ were jailed for life for the murder of the taxi driver

Two ‘extremely drunk, entitled louts’ have been jailed for life today for the ‘ferocious and brutal’ murder of a taxi driver.

Ali Asghar, 39, suffered catastrophic head injuries in a brutal attack after he asked Martin Treacy, 18, to stop eating a chicken burger and chips in the Uber.  

Treacy then started swearing at the taxi driver in the back of the Mercedes while he sat beside his friend Connor McPartland, 20.

The pair of louts were travelling to a Halloween party on October 30 where they planned to meet some girls at a nightclub. 

After Mr Asghar stopped at a petrol station in Rochdale, prosecutors say the two men then unleashed a ‘ferocious, brutal and totally unforgiving attack’ on Mr Asghar.

They punched and kicked him in the head, before pushing him over and hitting his head on the wheel of his own car. He died two weeks later.

The court also heard they were frustrated by mistakenly entering the wrong address into the Uber app which sent them a mile away from their intended destination.

 McPartland was sentenced to a minimum of 14-and-a-half years, and Treacy a minimum of 13-and-a-half years today at Manchester Crown Court.

Ali Asghar, pictured, 39, suffered catastrophic head injuries in a brutal attack after he asked Martin Treacy, 18, to stop eating a chicken burger and chips in the Uber

At a sentencing hearing, 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 as his sibling’s face was ‘unrecognisable’. 

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.’

Mr Ali told the court his brother, an economics graduate, had left his native Pakistan to settle in the UK in 2009 where he started delivering leaflets, worked in a McDonald’s restaurant and qualified to work in security. 

He then 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. 

Mr Ali, who moved to the UK in 2018 to live with his brother, said: ‘Even the day before he was assaulted, he told me, I am very happy with my life, as I have managed to complete and achieve all of my major goals in life and can now finally relax and take it easy, but this was not to be.’

‘No human deserved to suffer and die as my brother did, and those responsible should be held to account for their crimes and the severest punishment given.’  

Police and forensics seen responding to the incident on Queensway in Rochdale October 30 2021

Mr Ali also revealed he couldn’t bear to tell their mother in Pakistan of her son’s death and lied to her at first. 

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.

‘How could anybody do this to an innocent person for something that was a mistake made by the attackers themselves?

‘He sustained so many injuries as a result of the attack and then they left him there to die like his life had no meaning at all.’

The defendants McPartland and Treacy were convicted by a jury last week of the murder. 

Sentencing, Judge Alan Conrad QC told the pair today: ‘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.’

The pair were travelling from Oldham to Ko-Ko Kobana Lounge when they stopped a few streets away at Coco’s 

The two young men were ‘extremely drunk’ when they got into the back of Mr Asghar’s Mercedes at 4.30am, the jurors were told. Pictured: The scene with forensics taking evidence

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

The two young men were ‘extremely drunk’ when they got into the back of Mr Asghar’s Mercedes at 4.30am, the jurors were told.

The pair had wanted to be taken to Ko-Ko Lounge nightclub which was in the centre of Rochdale town centre, the court was told. 

But the car stopped opposite a Shell garage on Queensway near Coco’s – a desert and grill which they mistakenly entered on the Uber app – following an argument on board.

The jurors were told the argument woke one resident who was said to have heard one of the defendants shouting ‘come on then’ before she heard someone say ‘get the police, phone the police then’. 

The resident reported hearing a banging noise and forensic analysis later matched a dent in Mr Asghar’s car door which left a mark which matched Mr McPartland’s trainers.

The pair of louts were travelling to a Halloween party on October 30 where they planned to meet some girls at Ko-Ko’s nightclub (pictured)

The prosecutor Guy Gozem QC told the court: ‘Tragically, though, what was done to the car pales into insignificance, because once all three of them were out of the car, the argument all too soon became a ferocious, brutal and totally unforgiving attack by the two drunken young men on the taxi driver.

The QC continued: ‘They punched him to begin with. They threatened to stab him. He ran and they chased after him.

‘When he stumbled and fell over, they pounced on him, kicking him repeatedly to his head and body as he lay defenceless on the floor.’

The defendant McPartland is said to have attempted a martial arts move, a ‘spin kick’, but when a multitool fell out of his pocket he picked it up and shouted at Mr Asghar ‘I’m going to stab you!’, according to the prosecutor.

CCTV captured Mr Asghar running away but he stumbled and fell and the two defendants resumed their attack ‘kicking him in the head and the face’, said the QC.

A ‘peacemaker’ taxi driver who had arrived on the scene tried to intervene twice but the two ‘were not for stopping’, the jurors were told.

When Mr McPartland then turned his attention to Mr Asghar’s car his victim managed to get to his feet and tried to stop his taxi from being taken, the court was told.

But the attack continued and Mr Asghar fell again, his head striking the alloy wheel of his taxi, said Mr Gozem.

The Uber driver was heard to scream and one of the defendants was heard to say ‘come on, run, run, run’ before they were seen jogging away down Queensway.

Coco’s Grillhouse and Desserts in Rochdale near where the taxi driver was taking them

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’.

Judge Conrad said he accepted that they had not intended to kill Mr Asghar, and that the attack was not premeditated. He also took their age into account when passing sentence.

He also praised another taxi driver who tried to intervene, and gave him a £500 reward for his public spirited actions.

Jaime Hamilton QC, mitigating for Treacy, said: ‘In many ways this is a young man who may have never troubled the courts were it not for the circumstances that arose that night.’

Mark Rhind QC, mitigating for McPartland, said his client is ‘ashamed and embarrassed’ of his behaviour and understands the devastation he has caused.

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.

‘The judge today highly commended the taxi driver for his actions in attempting to save Ali’s life and I’d also like to thank him for his bravery.’ 

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