Three men have been given life sentences totalling 88 years for the cold blooded assassination of a Bradford father-of-four.

A jury at Leeds Crown Court convicted the gang of murdering restaurant worker Shazad Hussain, 21, as he sat in his car in a back alleyway in the city on September 25, 2004.

Mohammed Niaz Khan, 26, of Wensleydale Road, Thornbury, Bradford, and Abid Ashiq Hussain, also 26, of Rushton Terrace, Thornbury, Bradford, were each ordered to be locked up for a minimum of 30 years.

Sharaz Yaqub, 26, of Silverhill Road, Thornbury, Bradford, was jailed for a minimum of 28 years.

A further murder accused, Abdul Wahid Rehman, 26, of St Paul's Road, Manningham, Bradford, was unanimously acquitted by the jury.

With them in the dock was Daniel Jones, 24, of Peterborough Road, Undercliffe, who was found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice along with Yaqub. Hussain was found not guilty of the charge.

Mohammed Ghaffar, 35, of Thornbury Drive, Thornbury, described as a "pillar of his local community", was convicted of perverting the course of justice.

Jones was jailed for 18 months and Yaqub for 18 months to run concurrently with his murder sentence.

The judge Mrs Justice Rafferty delayed sentencing Ghaffar for a probation report and he was granted bail.

Legal restrictions imposed at the start of the trial, which prevented any details of the case being reported before now, were lifted by the judge yesterday.

She praised Detective Superintendent Andy Brennan and his team for bringing the killers to book.

The judge told Khan, Yaqub, known as Shah, and Hussain, known as Blakey, they thought themselves above the law.

She said it was not for her to decide if the murder had a drug dealing background or was gang warfare.

She said that Mr Hussain, known as Shuzzy, died in a cynical, carefully planned operation.

She told the three: "Once you decided Shuzzy had crossed the boundary of what was acceptable in the miserable subculture you inhabit, you eliminated him.

"You left a woman eight months pregnant with his child devastated. Her first thought was that she would lose the baby. His mother, his father and his siblings fear they will never recover."

She branded Blakey the controller, setting tone and pace and using as a tool Khan's reputation for violence to make the evil enterprise flow.

She said Khan, if not the organiser of the murder, was a main player.

"The two of you set out not only to murder Shuzzy but to cover your tracks."

She said that witnesses in the community had been frightened out of their wits but had a backbone and sense of duty which they could never dream of.

The judge described Shah as a willing henchman, obedient to the last. He was present in the alley that night and in the morning keeping close within the team.

She said: "Who fired the shot is irrelevant. You three operated as a team and as a team you will be sentenced.

"Those who use or countenance the use of guns on the streets must expect that, as here, diligent determined police work, the courage of the intimidated and of those once swept up in the web of evil but now trying to make amends, will bring you to justice."

The judge said the conspiracy to pervert the course of justice entailed the burning of the murder kit at an Indian restaurant in Pudsey.

The judge branded Jones a pathetic tool in the hands of the murderers making his own contribution to wickedness by running his errand to the Last Viceroy in Pudsey.

"If you behave as a mindless, spineless fool that is how the courts will treat you," she told him.

She said that Ghaffar had betrayed the trust of his local community.

During the trial the jury heard that he drove Hussain to Manchester Airport with a one-way ticket to Pakistan.

After he was convicted the court heard he was a hard-working family man of good character. He lied to the police during the inquiry but apologised to officers immediately on his arrest.

The judge said there was significant planning and preparation for the murder and Blakey and Khan must serve at least 30 years in jail. Shah's role was a little less and his minimum term was 28 years.

The judge said she assumed Ghaffar was ashamed. "The place for you may be in prison, it may be back in the community you betrayed, daily reduced to hanging your head in shame while you try to build up trust and repair the damage you have caused," the judge said.

During the trial prosecutor Tom Bayliss QC told how Shazad Hussain was fatally wounded after leaving the home in Leeds Road, Bradford, he shared with his wife, Neelam Parvez.

He was shot twice through the window of his Honda Civic at about 1.20am as he sat in the vehicle in an alleyway behind Amberley Street.

The first shot shattered the driver's window and hit Mr Hussain in the right arm. The second, fired from one to three feet, hit him in the chest and killed him.

The jury heard there had been a series of shootings in the Leeds Road, Thornbury, area in September 2004.

He alleged the killing of Mr Hussain was in revenge for the earlier incident.

Mr Bayliss said Mr Hussain was married to a cousin but he also had an Islamic marriage ceremony to Neelam Parvez. At the time of the killing she had a daughter with him and their son was born shortly after the murder.

On the night of the murder Mr Hussain visited his parents in Gladstone Street before going to spend time with his wife. He was killed shortly after leaving her.

The jury heard that on September 23 the Rover getaway car was bought by Blakey from a second-hand dealer.

The vehicle was found by police in Raglan Terrace, Thornbury. It contained evidence of a gun being discharged and glass from Mr Hussain's car.

Balaclavas and gloves were taken by Jones to the Indian restaurant in Pudsey where they were burned in an oven.

After the verdicts the jury heard a statement from Neelam Parvez whose children are now five and two.

She said she had been very lonely since the murder and her first thought when her husband was shot was that she did not want to lose the baby.

"After the murder I did not eat. I was very depressed and I was on strong medication. Really at that time my life was a mess, the only thing keeping me going was my two children," she said.

The statement went on: "There is not a day goes by when I don't think of Shazad. He was so good to us and I loved him. I often think about the men who killed Shazad and I just feel anger towards them. They have ruined my life, my kids' lives and Shazad's family's life. How can you forgive that?"

She said she had been living in a nightmare since the murder.

Mr Hussain's mother, Shahnaz Begum, said in her victim impact letter that Shazad's younger brother who was 13 at the time saw his beloved brother brought home in a coffin and the anger and fear in him was enormous.

He also saw his brother's blood-covered body at the murder scene.

Shazad's father had slowly deteriorated mentally and physically and she herself lived secluded away from everyone.

Det Supt Brennan said the murder inquiry was one of the most difficult of his career.

He urged communities to come forward and help the police when such offences occur.

"It is vital that the community understands from this type of investigation that they can make a difference if they support the police. We can make a difference to the streets of Bradford and put those responsible for serious crimes behind bars."

He thanked community leaders, especially those in the Leeds Road area, for all their help.

Det Supt Brennan said at the outset of the case there was a lack of co-operation in the community because of threats to witnesses and perceived danger to anyone who helped with the investigation.