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Yassar Yaqub shooting: Dad tells critics to 'grow up'

Mohammed Yaqub said last 12 months were hardest of his life

The father of Yassar Yaqub has defended his son’s name at a vigil to remember him a year after he was shot dead during a police operation at Ainley Top.

Mohammed Yaqub, who was among more than 100 people at the peaceful vigil tonight , said his son was taken “wrongfully” from his family on January 2, 2017.

He said 28-year-old Yassar, of Crosland Moor - who was a passenger in a car when he was shot - had been the “perfect son”.

“He was the best child a father could wish for,” he said. “We miss him so badly each day, every minute, every second.”

He added: “He was a good person, a good man, not the person the media tried to make out at one stage. Yassar will always be remembered by his father, mother, sisters, family, friends and everybody.”

Mr Yaqub said his wife Safia was finding it difficult to deal with the anniversary of her son’s death.

“She’s finding it very difficult,” he said. “Last night she was crying and shouting out for Yassar. What the police did is going to kill her and myself shortly, the way we are going on.”

And he hit out at people who posted negative comments about his son on social media.

“I think those people need to grow up for a start,” he said. “I would challenge every single negative comment maker. If they were to approach me, once I answer their questions and tell them the truth, their negative comment would change into a positive comment.”

Mr Yaqub said he was unable to fully answer people’s comments for legal reasons.

But he added: “I will, at some point very shortly, answer each and every question raised. I read and study those comments. I will answer them at the right time.

Banners at the vigil for Yassar Yakub

“People who make negative comments, it is not their fault because they know nothing different.”

He added that he doesn’t find the negative comments hurtful.

“Even a negative comment is good publicity,” he said.

Mr Yaqub, 60, said the last 12 months were the hardest of his life.

“It has been a very hard year, the hardest of my 60 years,” he said. “It is going to get harder as I get weaker.”

He said the turnout for the vigil in pouring rain was pleasing.

“Bearing in mind the weather I am quite pleased with the turn out tonight,” he said. “I would like to thank everyone who turned out tonight and who has supported my family through what has been a very difficult and emotional year, particularly for my wife Safia. Our grief is getting harder and harder to bear.

“Life is very poor without my son Yassar. What has happened is like taking our hearts out and breaking them.

“Yassar was a very good son who would do anything for anybody.”

Colne Valley Labour MP Thelma Walker , who was unable to attend the vigil, said in a statement: “I wish to extend my sincere condolences to his grieving parents.

“Although it is not appropriate for me to comment on the case while it is still being investigated by the IPCC, the Yaqubs have my deepest sympathy and are particularly in my thoughts at this most difficult of times.

“Unfortunately, I am unable to attend the vigil, but I hope that it provides some comfort for those who knew him best and offers a peaceful means for remembering and reflecting on Yassar’s life.”

The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is investigating the shooting, said earlier this month it would not be able to publish its report until after the criminal trial of Moshin Amin who was arrested as part of the same police operation.

Amin, who has pleaded not guilty to firearms charges, is due to face trial in April.

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