Family of murdered Tipu Sultan speak of "struggle" without him
The family of a popular dad gunned down outside his takeaway say they have been left with a huge financial loss after his murder.
Tipu Sultan, 32, was shot dead outside his family-run business Herbs & Spice Kitchen in April 2015.
That cold-blooded killing of the dad-of-two shocked both the communities of Sunderland, where he lived, and South Shields, where he ran his business.
Now his family have revealed how hard it has been trying to carry on in his absence.
Tipu’s father Amin Miah spoke of the “struggle” coping with life after his murder.
He said: "There has been a significant financial drop on the business. This was his business and since his death it has never been the same.
"We always struggle to find people to work here, they just don’t want to come.
"Tipu had built up a good reputation and was very popular with his customers."
Employee Abdur Rokib, who has worked at the takeaway, in Lake Avenue, Marsden, for many years, added: "Herbs & Spice Kitchen is not lively anymore without Tipu.
"Lots of our customers have expressed that they feel very scared and unsafe coming to the takeaway."
Two men were convicted over Tipu’s killing, but no true motivation for his killing was ever uncovered during a three-week trial.
Abu Shama, manager of the Sunderland Bangladesh International Centre, in Tatham Street, said: "We still question ourselves to why someone would want to kill Tipu. People who use the centre often asks about the incident.
"We have had well-wishes from all members of the community showing their support and this has brought closeness among one another.
"Police have re-assured the community and business owners, but as a whole we would like more police visibility.
"Tipu’s death has left a legacy among the whole of the Bangladeshi and the wider community, and he will always be remembered."
Michael McDougall, 47, of Hylton Avenue, South Shields, was jailed for life, with a minimum of 34 years, after being found guilty of murder.
Michael Mullen, 24, of Hawthorne Avenue, South Shields, who had taken McDougall to and from the murder scene on the back of a motorbike, was cleared of murder, but jailed for 12 years after being found guilty of manslaughter.