Targeted: The Kriss Donald Story | Part Three

(Mohammed ''Becks'' Faisal Mushtaq, Zeeshan ''Crazy'' Shahid and his brother Imran ''Baldy'' Shahid. Photo credit: Huffington Post

Continued from part two...

On the days after Kriss's murder, Rangers and Celtic scarves along with flowers and tributes were left on the railings of Kenmure street at the spot where Kriss was abducted. 

There had always been a bit of tension in the area between various sections of the community but the news of Kriss's death and how he was murdered had angered a lot of people. The Muslim community were concerned that there would be a revenge attack on innocent members of the public.

The murderers thought they were clever setting the Mercedes on fire in an attempt to destroy any evidence. Investigators managed to find some spots of blood in the remains of the car which matched Kriss Donald. They also found some DNA from the remains of a rolled up leather jacket which belonged to Imran Shahid along with Kriss's missing trainer.

Imran Shahid, his brother Zeeshan and Mohammed all fled to Pakistan, Zahid Mohammed and Daanish Zahid were arrested soon after the murder and both were charged with murder. Zahid Mohammed admitted to a reduced charge of assaulting Kriss during the kidnap and later lying to the police about where he was that day.

Zahid went on to be a key witness in the first trial (they couldn't try the others as they were still hiding in Pakistan and the police were trying to track them down) against Daanish Zahid who was found guilty of murder in November 2004. Daanish Zahid was the first person to be convicted of a racially motivated murder in Scotland.

Daanish Zahid was sentenced to life imprisonment with the recommendation that he serve at least 17 years. Zahid Mohammed was jailed for five years after he admitted taking part in the abduction but not the murder.

It took months before The Shahid brothers and Mohammed were finally tracked down in Pakistan thanks to Glasgow MP Mohammed Sanwar. Imran Shahid, Zeeshan Shahid and Mohammed Faisal Mushtaq appeared in court on Thursday the 6th of October 2005 after being extradited from Pakistan. All three were charged with the abduction and murder of Kriss Donald. MP Mohammed Sanwar helped negotiate their transfer to the UK as no extradition treaty existed between Britain and Pakistan.

On the 2nd of October 2006, the trial began. All three of them, who had criminal records had pleaded not guilty to the charges. The jury was made up of six men and nine women. Imran Shahid lodged a special defence of incrimination, blaming the others for the murder.

Imran Shahid also faced charges of assaulting detectives in Glasgow's London road Police office after attempting to pervert the course of justice by jumping on a blood sample in a bid to destroy it.

All three of them denied further accusations that they acted in a racially aggravated manner at court. They were said to have been shouting racist abuse, swearing and spitting. Zeeshan Shahid denied that he spat in a women's face, spat in a man's face and headbutted another man.

After 27 days the Jury took eight and a half hours to convict them. Prosecutors described Kriss Donald's death as an ''appalling crime of inhumanity against a defenceless boy".

All the way through the trial there were no apologies or signs of remorse from the three murderers.

Judge Lord Uist told them, as he was passing sentence: ''You have all been convicted of the racially aggravated abduction and murder of Kriss Donald - a wholly innocent 15 year old boy of slight build. He was selected as your victim only because he was white and walking a certain part of the Pollokshields area of Glasgow when you sought out a victim.''

Imran Shahid (29) was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 25 years. Zeeshan Shahid (28) was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 23 years and Mohammed Faisal Mushtaq (27) was to serve at least 22 years in prison before being considered for parole.

As they were led away, Kriss's family all cheered and Kriss's mother Angela, who had been quiet throughout the case shouted ''YOU B*STARDS''.

Outside of the court, Angela expressed her thanks to the police and the people who helped bring her son's killers to justice. She said ''Justice has been done. Thank you. It is over.''

In the early stages the media was criticised for the lack of coverage of the Kriss Donald case. The BBC were criticised because they only covered the case three times and the first trial was largely confined to regional Scottish bulletins including the verdict itself. There was anger that the BBC had covered the opening of a new arts centre in Gateshead instead of the verdict. The BBC didn't bother to cover much of the second trial either. They waited till the 18th day of the trail to report anything and Peter Horrocks of the BBC apologised for the organisations further failings.

At the time there was a lot of anger from members of the public not only for the lack of coverage of Kriss Donald's case but the media's attitude to white victims of racist crimes in general. Peter Fahy, a spokesman of race issues for the Association Of Chief Police Officers noted that the media as a whole tended to under report the racist murders of white people. He said it was a fact that it was harder to get the media interested when the murder victims were young white men.

Members of the public who lived in the area spoke out about the building tension between the communities and said that it had been going on for years but this time it had gone way too far. Due to the lack of media attention and priority regarding Kriss's case a lot of the people from the white community in Glasgow felt ignored and forgotten about. The British National Party were accused by Scotland's First Minister among others of trying to take advantage of the situation. There was fear that revenge attacks would occur and that innocent people would come to harm. Kriss's mother was asked to speak out and call for calm to try and ease some of the tension.

The BNP planned to visit the Pollokshields area to speak to the locals. An open letter preventing this from taking place was signed by MSPs, Trade Unionists and community leaders. The BNP did hold a rally later in the area leading to accusations that it was fuelling racial tension.

When local residents were questioned about their feelings on what happened, they were sickened and some of them commented that it was only a matter of time before something really terrible had happened. They described the tension as at boiling point. There were certain areas that you were not allowed to walk in for fear of being attacked. The tensions were already at boiling point before the BNP ever arrived but fears were that matters would be made worse.

Due to Angela's plea for calm and sections of the community coming together in tribute to Kriss, things began to settle down a little bit. Mark Easton cited that the racist murders of Kriss Donald and Ross Parker demonstrated how society has been forced to redefine racism and discard the erroneous definition of Prejudice Plus Power - a definition which only allowed ethnic minorities to be victims of hate crime.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown said that ''treating some victims as more worthy of condemnation than others is unforgivable and a betrayal of anti-racism itself.'' 

Continued in part four...

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Toxic Relationship: The Tracie Andrews Story

Stalked To Death: The Alissa Blanton Story

Rod Ferrell And The Kentucky Vampire Cult

What Happened To Dominique Dunne?

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  1. The fact that any of them got reduced charges pisses me off, even though I understand why it happened, I just don't think that it should have happened. I think that they got off way too light, and that any of them are able to be considered for parole is misjustice, especially with their criminal background.

    The media is to blame on a lot of things, and I don't understand why they don't report on all crimes, the public should be informed, what if this was the beginning of serial killings and I believe it was but they got caught.

    1. Yeah I'm sure they'd done a lot of previous things that they'd managed to get away with. I believe in such cases that life should mean life x