TWO men were jailed yesterday for their parts in a raid on a pub where the licensee was later found shot dead.
Tariq Sattar, 35, the landlord of the Black Bull, Halifax Old Road, Birkby, Huddersfield, was discovered on September 7, 1998 in the cellar of the pub with his hands and feet tied. He had been shot once in the back of the neck.
No-one has been convicted of killing him, leaving his family unhappy and with many unanswered questions about the events that night.
Kevin Fisher, 46, of Abbey Road, Fartown, Huddersfield, was cleared on Monday by a jury at Leeds Crown Court of the murder or manslaughter of Mr Sattar but found guilty of attempted robbery.
Jailing him for six years, Mr Justice Astill said he was sentencing on the basis Fisher went to the pub in the early hours of the morning knowing Mr Sattar would be there and intent on robbing him of the takings.
"That is a serious offence which must attract a substantial sentence."
Also in court was Paul Lovell, 25, of Shirley Manor Gardens, Wyke, Bradford, who admitted burglary at the pub. He gave evidence at Fisher's trial that it was Fisher who had a sawn-off shotgun that night when they went to steal from the safe at the Black Bull.
Lovell was jailed for two years for the burglary, the sentence to run consecutively to a five-year prison term for a robbery committed in January this year while he was on bail awaiting sentence for the pub offence.
Julian Goose QC, prosecuting, said Lovell was the getaway driver for three other men armed with a machete or knives who held up an estate agent's in Wyke, stealing 2,050. The prosecution claimed both Fisher and Lovell entered the pub by climbing through a bathroom window intending to steal from the safe.
Lovell told the jury Mr Sattar returned to the pub while they were still inside and that, having followed him downstairs, it was Fisher who forced the licensee to the floor. Lovell said he tied the man's wrists with rope and claimed Fisher tied his ankles before producing a shotgun.
He said the keys to the safe were found in Mr Sattar's pockets and that he was upstairs opening the safe when he heard a loud bang. He claimed he returned to see Fisher standing with the gun in his hand and a cloud of smoke.
Fisher, who did not give evidence at his trial, maintained through his defence counsel that he was not at the pub that night. His defence also disputed a prosecution witness's evidence that Fisher allegedly confessed in jail that the gun went off accidentally while he was stopping his accomplice hitting the man.
Fisher was said to have an IQ of 67, with 98.6 per cent of the population intellectually more able than him.
In May last year another jury found him unfit through disability of mind to stand trial on the murder charge but before he could face a further hearing to decide if he did the act of killing Mr Sattar he absconded and went on the run.
After some time in France he was eventually rearrested on Christmas Day and was considered fit to stand trial in June but that jury was discharged in days when his then counsel withdrew from the case.
After sentence yesterday Det Insp Ian Devey said: "Obviously, Mr Sattar's family are very disappointed that nobody has been found guilty of their son's murder. They genuinely feel let down by the criminal justice system.
"The jury has heard all the evidence in the case and has accepted both these men were in the public house that night but this has not led to a murder conviction."