A FORMER detective has urged West Yorkshire’s new Police and Crime Commissioner to take action over the Birkby murders fugitive.
Bob Bridgestock, who headed up many murder inquires, wants Mark Burns-Williamson to make the capture of Shahid Mohammed one of his top priorities.
Mr Bridgestock – who served in Huddersfield and West Yorkshire for more than 30 years – believes it is vital that the town’s biggest-ever murder inquiry is finally completed.
Mohammed went on the run after being arrested over the terrible murders of eight people in a house at Osborne Road, Birkby, in May 2002.
The victims included five young children, killed when a gang firebombed the family home.
The fugitive is thought to be in hiding in Pakistan and Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman has already demanded a Westminster debate on the issues of extradition from Pakistan to Britain.
The suspect fled while on bail as detectives led by Mr Bridgestock hunted the fire-bombers.
Mr Bridgestock, now a successful thriller writer, said: “The family deserve closure and justice has to be done.
“It is wrong that this man is still at large.
“We had arrested him and held him for the maximum 96 hours, but we did not have the evidence to charge him at that time.
“Within hours, we had that further evidence, but he had fled.
“I would love to see this case be treated as a priority by the new Police and Crime Commissioner. What could be more important than bringing a fugitive to justice?”
His appeal came as one of the survivors of the fire, Mohammed Shafiq, repeated his plea for anyone with information about Shahid Mohammed to come forward.
Mr Shafiq escaped by leaping from a first-floor window.
The blaze killed his brother Muhammad Ateeq-ur-Rehman, 18, his sister Nefessa Aziz, 35, and his nieces Tayyaba Batool, 13, Rabia Batool, 10, five-year-old Ateeqa Nawaz, two-year-old Aneesa Nawaz, and six-month-old Najeeba Nawaz.
Mr Shafiq’s mother, Zaib-un-Nisa, 54, died in hospital a week later.
Mr Shafiq leapt from a window and escaped with serious burns.
His father, Abdul Aziz Chishti, and sister, Siddiqah Aziz, also escaped alive.
Mr Shafiq said: “We can never move on while Shahid Mohammed is still evading justice.
“Only when he has been in court can we try and put it behind us.”
Three men were jailed for their part in the crime, but there was a row last year when one gained parole and was freed.
Shaied Iqbal, of Thornton Lodge, was convicted of eight counts of murder and was ordered to serve at least 22 years in jail.
Shahiel Shazad and Nazar Hussain, both of Crosland Moor, were convicted of eight counts of manslaughter and jailed for life. Hussain is now free.