‘I thought we would be safe here’ – father pays tribute to murdered Lebanese student

‘I thought we would be safe here’ – father pays tribute to murdered Lebanese student
Aya Hachem was in the second year of her law degree at Salford University when she was killed. (Lancashire Police)
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Updated 21 May 2020

‘I thought we would be safe here’ – father pays tribute to murdered Lebanese student

‘I thought we would be safe here’ – father pays tribute to murdered Lebanese student
  • Police have arrested 11 people as part of the investigation into the killing of Aya Hachem
  • Refugee Ismail Hachem says his dreams have been destroyed by the murder

LONDON: The father of a Lebanese student murdered in a drive-by shooting in northern England said he thought his family would be safe in the UK.

Aya Hachem, 19, was killed when she was shot in the chest as she went to buy groceries in Blackburn on Sunday.

Police have arrested 11 people as part of the investigation into the killing, eight of whom are suspected of her murder. 

 

 

A court on Thursday granted police extra time to question three men who were arrested on Tuesday.

Detectives said Aya, who was studying law at university and planned to become a solicitor, was not the intended target.

Her father Ismail, who arrived with his family in the UK as a refugee from Lebanon about 10 years ago, said his dreams have been destroyed by his daughter’s death.

“I think I would be safe here... in this small town. No big problems,” he told the BBC. “All my dreams (were) Aya. Everything Aya.

“She had big dreams, she helped many people. Anywhere, everybody liked Aya. But we lost Aya, my family lost Aya.”




Aya Hachem was in the second year of her law degree at Salford University when she was killed. (Lancashire Police)

He described how he had been trying to call Aya, the eldest of his four children, when she did not return home from the supermarket.

When he went searching for her, he saw an area had been cordoned off but was unaware it was the scene of her murder. 

Police officers then came to his house and told him and his wife that Aya had died.

Aya, who was studying at Salford University, was a trustee for the Children’s Society.

Tributes have been paid from across the community, including from her former teachers.




Aya Hachem was in the second year of her law degree at Salford University when she was killed. (Lancashire Police)