Tipu Sultan murder: Children played just yards away as takeaway boss was gunned down

Children were playing just yards away from the Herbs & Spice Kitchen takeaway, where Tipu Sultan was gunned down.
Children were playing just yards away from the Herbs & Spice Kitchen takeaway, where Tipu Sultan was gunned down.

A group of children were playing just metres away from where takeaway boss Tipu Sultan was blasted to death with a sawn-off shotgun, jurors heard today.

The 32-year-old died from a wound to the neck after a gunman opened fire at his Herbs & Spice Kitchen business in South Shields last April.

We went to see what it was and there was a person lying on the floor - he had a big hole in his neck.

Witness

Children who were playing near the takeaway told jurors at Newcastle Crown Court they saw the killer, dressed all in black, arrive on a motorbike.

They heard a loud bang from a gunshot and saw Mr Sultan’s dead body.

One girl said: “We saw the body lying on the floor and we left because we were getting scared.”

Mr Sultan, a married dad who lived in Sunderland, had been cleaning in the kitchen of the family-run Indian takeaway when his attacker burst in through the back door.

Prosecutors claim Michael Mullen drove gunman Michael McDougall to and from the scene on a motorbike and that both men are equally responsible for the killing.

Mullen, 24, of Hawthorne Avenue, and McDougall, 47, of Hylton Avenue, both South Shields, deny murder, manslaughter and possession of a firearm.

Mullen also denies conspiring to pervert the course of justice, while McDougall denies a further firearm possession charge.

A 14-year-old told the court she had been playing “team tig” after a bike ride with friends on Cleadon Hills when she saw two men approach the back of the shops on a motorbike.

She said: “I saw him kick the door open and go through and then we ran off just after that bit.”

The youngster, who cannot be named, said she heard “screaming and shouting”, heard a “bang” and saw the man jump back on his bike.

She added: “We went back and we saw the body lying on the floor and we left because we were getting scared.”

Another youth, who had been playing the same game, said he heard the man saying “Go, go, go” as he got back on the bike and realised something had been going on at the shop.

The boy told jurors: “We went to see what it was and there was a person lying on the floor - he had a big hole in his neck.”

A 16-year-old, who had been passing the scene by himself, said he heard a bang and added: “I have heard bangers go off and it was 10 times louder.

“I thought it was a banger at first, but much louder.”

The youth said the gunman tripped as he left the scene of the killing.

He added: “He must have caught his foot on either the fence or something on the floor and went face first.

“When he jumped up, running, he threw his leg over the bike and said ‘Go, go, go’.”

The teenager said the man was carrying a gun in his left hand.

The trial continues.