DETECTIVES investigating the cold-blooded murder of Tipu Sultan are appealing for information about a burned out motorbike that was found in Washington the day after the shooting took place.
Enquiries are ongoing to establish if the bike was the one used by the two men who police believe were responsible for the South Shields murder.
Tipu Sultan, of Millfield, Sunderland, was murdered at just before 9.58pm on Tuesday, April 7. He was approached by a man armed with a gun and shot from close range at the rear of the Herbs’n’Spice Kitchen takeaway in Lake Avenue.
Two men on a motorbike were seen driving into the rear lane in Lake Avenue just before the incident and seen driving away immediately after the shooting.
Officers believe that these two men were responsible for the murder of Tipu Sultan and enquiries are underway to identify and locate them.
At around 9.30pm on Wednesday, April 8, a member of the public found motorbikes parts that had been set on fire in a field near to East house Farm, just off Follingsby Lane in Washington. They reported this to police several days later. The parts, which had been badly damaged by fire, were recovered by officers and have been examined forensically.
The parts included a petrol tank, seat, wheels and other component parts, however the engine and frame had been removed.
Detective Chief Inspector John Bent said: “The parts recovered, although badly damaged, do appear to be from a red coloured motorbike and are from a similar type of bike to that used in the murder of Tipu Sultan.
“The parts have been forensically examined, however, the parts that could be used to identify the bike were removed by whoever set fire to them which is making it much more difficult for us. We really need information about this bike - who left it there? Why it was burned out? And if it has any links to the murder of Tipu Sultan?
“If someone has burnt this bike out and they know it doesn’t have any links to the shooting then I’d urge them to get in touch and speak to us as soon as possible, that way we can rule it out from our enquiries. This can be done anonymously - all we need is the information.”
Detectives also seek information in respect of a silver car that was seen in Lake Avenue around the time of the shooting by witnesses.
This car, possibly a silver Ford Focus, was seen at the rear of the takeaway shortly before the shooting and the driver may have spoken to Tipu. The vehicle is believed to have left the area in the minutes before the motorbike arrived and the murder took place.
DCI Bent added: “Witnesses reported seeing this car in the Lake Avenue area around the time of the murder and we are really keen to speak to the driver or anyone else who might have seen the vehicle.
“The driver could be an important witness and may have vital information into the investigation. I’d urge them, or anyone with any information about the car, to get in touch with police as soon as possible.”
Anyone with any information that could help with enquiries is asked to contact police as soon as possible on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference number 1255 07/04/15.
Information can be passed anonymously by ringing Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
People can view the BBC CrimeWatch reconstruction into the murder here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/profiles/1WckWGNSdHjq3HNGZXGSpK6/south-shields-murder