Italian eatery opens in Stockport

By Peter Stanners

Manchester Mouth’s newest recruit reviews the new eatery that is pioneering Stockport’s cosmopolitan revival.

An ambitious sibling team has opened an Italian coffee house and restaurant in the heart of Stockport.

Taking over the site of the old Stockport Arms on Petersgate, Da Vinci’s is a gift to Stockport, offering incredible food in a cosy environment with great value for money.

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Potter star’s scary family bailed

THE FATHER and brother of a Harry Potter actress have been bailed after being accused of threatening to kill her.

Abdul Azad, 54, and his son Ashraf, 28, reportedly said that they would murder 22-year-old Afshan, who plays Padma Patil in the wizard movies, after they found out she was dating a Hindu man.

The child star, who comes from a strict Bengali Muslim family from Longsight in Manchester, said that her father made threats against her life and her brother assaulted her and threatened her in her home on 21 May 2010.

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Family of murdered Oldham man pay tribute

THE FAMILY of an Oldham man who was killed by twin brothers have paid tribute to him.

Brett and Jordan Francis, 26, both of Birch Avenue, Oldham, were found guilty of murdering Amran Khan, 29, in a drive-by shooting.

The duo were sentenced to 28 years each in prison at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square, on 25 March 2010.

Shanaz, Khan’s sister, said: “We are extremely grateful to the police and the Crown Prosecution Service for everything they have done to get us justice. They put together a good case and because of that the jury has seen through all the lies and convicted these men, and we are also very grateful to them.

“We would also personally like to thank the paramedics who gave evidence that clearly showed these men were guilty.

“This has been a very difficult time for the whole family and we have found it extremely hard to cope. It has been heartbreaking to see my young son crying and saying: “I have not lost an uncle but a brother and he is still checking his phone and constantly asking why Manny doesn’t call.”

Khan was shot twice on the doorstep of his home on Nugget Street in Glodwick at about 10.30pm on 18 September 2009.

He later died at the Royal Oldham Hospital. He had a wife and two young daughters aged 10 months old and five-years-old at the time.

The family had just returned home after visiting relatives and both Amran and his wife were putting the children to bed.

Amran went outside to investigate after his wife heard a disturbance and a dark BMW screeched to a halt outside the house.

One of the occupants of the car then shot Amran once in the chest and also in his right buttock.

A third bullet hit the brickwork of the front door.

Amran’s wife witnessed what happened.

“Manny was known as Smiley and I find myself constantly looking for that smile,” Shanaz added.

“I am disgusted with these men. They have showed no remorse and smirked throughout the trial. They have not just taken someone’s husband or brother – they have destroyed a lot of family relationships.

“They still have their lives – we will never have Manny back and his children will grow up not knowing him. Although seeing them jailed for such a long time won’t bring Manny back, it has given us some justice and at least Manny’s children will grow up knowing his killers are behind bars.”

After the shooting the Francises fled Manchester travelling to Runcorn and tried, unsuccessfully, to kill themselves, leading to their arrest.

Khan’s wife Shamila said: “I cannot literally state the pain and horror at losing

NO REMORSE: Brett and Jordan Francis smirked during the murder trial

Amran in such a callous way. You can never comprehend the suffering and hurt caused by the death of not just my husband but a great daddy and a soulmate.

“There was still so much more Amran dreamt of for us but they will always be dreams and wishes.”

It is believed that the twins killed Khan because of a dispute over a drug debt.

Student appeals for brother’s release from Chinese prison

A MANCHESTER student is campaigning for the release of his brother, who is believed to be held in northwest China by the authorities and is at serious risk of torture. 

Dilimulati Paerhati claims his brother Dilixiati, 27, was taken from his home in Urumqi, a city situated in China’s troubled Xinjiang region, on 7 August 2009 and has not been heard from since.

The 30-year-old, who is studying international business management at Manchester Metropolitan University, has not been able to contact his family in Xinjiang as the authorities have blocked the phone lines.

“The phone lines are blocked after the unrest in Xinjiang, so I can’t even speak to my family to find out if they’ve had any news,” Dilimulati told Amnesty International, who have taken up his case.

“I just want to know that my brother is OK, and to help get him released. He was due get married this summer, but he had to postpone the wedding because of all the trouble in our city.”

Dilimulati now believes that his brother may have been abducted because he was the editor of a popular news website and Amnesty International’s supporters are now writing to the Chinese government to demand that Dilixiati is released or charged with a criminal offence and given a fair trial.

“He only edits a website, he hasn’t done anything wrong. There has been trouble in Xinjiang but my brother wasn’t part of it. He didn’t even write about it,” added Dilimulati.

The Paerhatis are from China’s Uighur ethnic minority. Dilixiati’s website has been off-line since 6 July 2009.

The authorities in the region began blocking the internet, international telephone and text messaging services in Urumqi and other cities on 5 July 2009, which they claim will prevent violence from spreading.

Reports suggest that police interrogated Dilixiati about the ‘unrest’ for around eight days from 24 July 2009. He was released but rearrested days later.

Violence and widespread unrest broke out in Urumqi and in other parts of Xinjiang province in July 2009, after police cracked down on initially peaceful demonstrations in Urumqi by Uighurs.

The demonstrations were protesting the authorities’ inaction after two Uighur workers died during a violent riot at a factory.

Steve Ballinger, of Amnesty International UK, said: “Amnesty supporters around the world are writing to the Chinese authorities, urging them to respect Dilixiati Paerhati’s human rights.

“Officials should tell his family where he is being held, let them see him, and guarantee that he is not being ill-treated. And unless he’s going to be charged and put on trial, they should release Dilixiati Paerhati immediately.”