Father died after being ‘forced’ to drink Brandy for losing Card Game

A father died after his friends allegedly forced him to drink two bottles of brandy as punishment for losing a card game.

Father died after being 'forced' to drink Brandy for losing Card Game f

"He would meet his friends and drink alcohol."

An inquest heard that a young father died after his friends allegedly forced him to drink two bottles of brandy as a forfeit for losing at cards.

He was then put into the back of his car and locked in a compound overnight on his own.

Umar Aziz was allegedly forced to drink brandy in the space of 30 minutes as a ‘Jurmana’ – Urdu for penalty – the night before he was due to attend his sister’s wedding.

He died from fatal levels of alcohol, having 330mg of alcohol per 1000ml of blood – over four times the drink-drive limit of 80mg.

Mr Aziz was placed on a chair outside a “dreary” portacabin where his supposed friends took photos and filmed him on their phones before leaving him.

The father was found the next day (May 23, 2021) and taken to hospital after one of his friends, Abdul Shaqoor, returned to the compound in Bradford.

Matthew Stanbury, representing the Aziz family, challenged Mr Shaqoor, saying:

“Jurmana was banded about as a concept in your group.”

Mr Shaqoor denied Jurmana was a punishment and claimed they used the word to mean a treat.

Mr Stanbury replied: “So I’m the loser and my punishment is to be the recipient of a treat?”

Mr Shaqoor said: “None of this was with intent. He was a brother.”

Police investigated the death but no charges were ever brought against Mr Shaqoor or four other men.

Pathologist Dr Richard Knight said the cause of death was due to acute alcohol intoxication.

At Bradford Royal Infirmary, medical staff were unable to save Mr Aziz and switched off the life support machine that same day.

His father Mohabbat Aziz found evidence on his son’s phone that suggested the group of six friends, some of whom went back to childhood, had previously used ‘Jurmana’ as a punishment for failing to turn up to events.

On this occasion, Mr Stanbury suggested to Mr Shaqoor that rather than playing cards for money, they had used ‘Jurmana’ as a punishment for losing at cards – which was denied.

Bradford Coroners’ Court heard how Mr Aziz had a very close group of friends who he would go out with most weekends, meeting up in car parks or a car lock-up owned by one of the group to smoke cannabis and drink alcohol.

On that fateful evening, Mr Aziz was also drinking with Jhangeer Ahmed, Mouzham Jahangir, Mohammed Shakeel and Mr Shaqoor’s brother Abdul Saboor – who owned the compound.

In a statement, Mr Aziz’s wife Sadhaf Ikhlaq said her husband would often come home under the influence of alcohol.

But she said her husband was hardworking and ran a takeaway in Leeds.

He would work until 11 pm Monday to Saturday. At the weekends he would often meet with his friends for a drinking session.

Mrs Ikhlaq said: “He would meet his friends and drink alcohol.

“Friends have brought him home and took him upstairs but sometimes he couldn’t get upstairs and he would sleep downstairs.

“He never went to see friends and not come back home, even if it was 5 am that he got back. I know because I always wait up.

“Sometimes friends would bring him out of the car. Sometimes he couldn’t stand up straight and would lean on the glass panel of the door and I’d open the door.”

She also said that morning, Mr Aziz had asked her for £6,000 of the £7,000 of the money he had been saving up to buy a wedding gift for his sister.

The inquest heard the money has not been seen since.

On May 22, 2021, Mr Aziz did not go home to see his wife and kids before going out, as he often did, instead, he drove straight to the car lock-up.

Mrs Ikhlaq waited until midnight before putting their four children to bed and waited all night for him to come home, only getting one hour’s sleep.

Giving evidence, Mr Shaqoor said that the young father had drunk the brandy neat and to himself and that he “appeared tipsy drunk” after that.

The group took Mr Aziz outside because it was smoke-filled and he needed some fresh air.

Nobody took him home because he had told his friends earlier that he was planning to stay at a hotel and then said he would sleep in his car.

Mrs Ikhlaq went to a neighbour’s house when the children woke at 8 am asking “where Daddy was”, to call him, because of her broken phone. She raised the alarm with his family.

CCTV from a mosque showed the father-of-four turning up to meet his friends.

Later that evening, Mohammed Shakeel went to an off-licence to buy two bottles of Hennessy brandy and returned to the cabin at 1:50 am.

At 2:18 am, the group emerged from the cabin with an extremely drunk Mr Aziz and placed him on a chair outside.

Footage showed him leaning over and being sick, with a friend patting him on the back and then wiping his mouth.

They took photographs and filmed him.

At one point, somebody poured more liquid into his mouth from a Lucozade bottle.

Coroner Martin Fleming asked Mr Shaqoor: “Could that Lucozade be alcohol and that you were pouring more alcohol into Umar?”

He replied: “No.”

The coroner then asked: “Did you place Umar under pressure or duress?”

He replied: “Certainly not.”

The group then brought Mr Aziz’s car into the compound at 3 am and carried him to the backseat before locking up the compound and leaving at 3:39 am.

Mr Shaqoor went to the compound after Mr Aziz did not answer his phone, finding him comatose and covered in his own vomit.

Mr Aziz’s father said he believes his son would have been found and given much earlier medical attention had he been put in the car and it been left on the street, as people arrived for Sunday morning prayers at the mosque from 4:15 am.

He said:

“If they’d left the car where it was parked I believe he would be here today.”

Giving evidence, members of the group said they had deleted any photos they had in respect for Umar Aziz and his family.

Mr Shaqoor added: “We all decided to move the car, the worry was it wouldn’t be safe if he gets up and drunk drives and that it is an unsafe environment on the road.”

He said Mr Aziz didn’t want to go home and that “with him being Muslim, I didn’t know if his family knew he drank. So my loyalty lies with him”.

The inquest continues.

Dhiren is a News & Content Editor who loves all things football. He also has a passion for gaming and watching films. His motto is to "Live life one day at a time".

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