A 26-year-old man has been charged with the murder of ‘vibrant’ and ‘bubbly’ 21-year-old Mohammed Aftab, who was found stabbed to death on a country lane on Christmas Day.
Jason Byrnes, of Waithlands Road, Rochdale, was charged with murder and appeared in custody before Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court earlier today.
Mr Aftab was found with a stab wound in the neck and several head injuries at around 8.15am on Monday after officers were called to Dyehouse Lane in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
A statement released by Mr Aftab’s family said they were left ‘devastated’ after the loss of their ‘vibrant’ and ‘bubbly’ son.
In the statement released earlier by police, his father Altaf Hussain said: ‘This has been a devastating loss to all the family.
‘Aftab had respect and love for people from all walks of life. You see these things happen to other people but can never comprehend it when it happens to you.
‘We all loved him from the bottom of our hearts and will miss him.
‘Aftab was a bubbly person; he was loving towards all his family, exactly what you can expect from a son.
‘Nobody had a bad word to say about Aftab, this has left all his friends and family heartbroken.
‘In the last few days we have had unimaginable support from people including those we have not known. We are thankful for everyone’s love and support they have shown especially those from the Rochdale community.’
Hundreds of comments from Friends and family poured in on social media to pay tribute to Mr Aftab after his death.
Aftab Ali wrote: ‘Terrible news. Visited the family at Bilal mosque and it’s very difficult to comprehend how this has happened.’
‘I hope those responsible are caught, and if anyone knows anything (which someone most definitely does) they need to come forward and make sure justice is served.’
Mukhlis Ibn Ali wrote on Facebook: ‘What a nice respectful brother you was to me.’
‘Brother Mohammed Aftab has left the world, another young brother, yet we live life like we’re promised many years.’
Saf Kahn posted: ‘Feeling heartbroken with out you. Can’t believe you have left us. RIP.’
‘You were a diamond to have known and you will always be in my heart.’
Suhail Aboo added: ‘Such shocking and tragic news. Only saw you Sunday as well. Hope they catch whoever is responsible.’