How the death of a hardworking restaurant boss has shaken three towns

This weekend, an unthinkable tragedy sent shock waves through three Greater Manchester towns.

A man was set upon as he delivered a takeaway on Friday night.

Horrified witnesses said it was a carjacking – and that he was run over while trying to stop his Mercedes being taken.

This was a man just doing his job.

He was out providing for his family; providing a meal for another family during lockdown.

The victim was rushed to hospital, where he bravely clung on.

Sadly, on Sunday afternoon, Haji Mohammed Heydayatul Islam – known as Nowab Miah – lost his battle.

His death prompted police to launch a murder investigation.

Haji Mohammed Hedayatul Islam – known as Nowab Miah
(Image: MEN MEDIA)

A 14-year-old had already been arrested on suspicion of robbery. He was still being questioned by detectives on Monday evening.

Mr Miah, 53, was the boss at Marple Spice.

His devastated son Shaf, announcing his father’s death on Facebook, said he was making his last delivery of the night when he was targeted.

He said his ‘mentor’ and ‘role model’ had ‘left this world surrounded by close family’.

Mr Miah’s death has sent shock waves through three communities – the Stockport village of Marple, where Mr Miah’s restaurant was based; nearby Romiley, where Mr Miah was set upon; and Hyde in Tameside, where he lived.

Cards and flowers were left outside the Marple eatery following the awful news.

“To our dear friend, you will be sadly missed by a lot of people,” one message read. 

“Thanking you for looking out for us and looking after us.”

Flowers in Marple left for Nowab Miah
(Image: M.E.N.)

Following the news of Mr Miah’s death, the I Love Marple Facebook page was flooded with tributes – as was Marple Spice’s page.

People spoke of ‘a lovely man with a heart of gold’ and sent Mr Miah’s son messages of support.

Jordan Fran wrote: “He was such a lovely guy.

“How can this have happened? I’m devastated for you all.”

Victoria Heathcote posted: “So dreadfully sorry to read this.

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“Your father was a lovely man and his restaurant is very much part of our family life.

“Our thoughts are very much with you and your family.”

Tracey Buckley wrote: “What a lovely, hardworking gentleman your father was.

“We are so sorry for your tragic, senseless loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with all your family.”

Francesca Marston wrote: “I am heartbroken for you all. Your father was so lovely and welcoming.

“Forever giving complimentary bottles of beer and would treat everybody so nicely.

“He had a heart of gold. I am so sorry for your loss… thinking of you all at such a devastating time.”

Police at the scene on Hazel Avenue, Romiley on Saturday
(Image: MEN MEDIA)

Jason Cooper wrote: “So sorry to hear about your loss. Our thoughts are with you and your family. I cut your dad’s hair for many years.

“He was a really nice chap.”

Michelle Henderson posted: “He was such a lovely man and a rock during lockdown last year for me and many others.

“I am devastated for you all. Love and prayers to you all.”

Ann Jarvis wrote: “Nowab Miha was such a kind and thoughtful person.

“What a sad, sad day. Our condolences to the family. So, so sad.”

Pete Murray, who lives near Hazel Avenue in Romiley, where the incident happened at around 9pm on Friday, told the Manchester Evening News of his shock.

He said: “What happened was unprecedented.

“That kind of thing doesn’t happen around here.

“It was unbelievable.

“I was out walking my dog this morning and everyone is saying how awful it is.

“Everyone is in shock.”

Mr Miah owned Marple Spice in Marple, Stockport
(Image: Manchester Evening News)

Mr Murray added: “I have lived here for over 20 years and it’s lovely, but over the last four or five years crime has become more prominent.

“It has got worse, with antisocial behaviour and car crime, particularly with groups of young people.”

Romiley councillors Mark Roberts, Lisa Smart and Angie Clark issued a statement following the tragedy.

“The whole community of Romiley is deeply saddened, shocked and angered by the death of Mr Miah,” they said.

“The incident at the weekend is both tragic and horrific. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

“Romiley is generally a very peaceful place to live, which makes it all the more shocking when something like this happens.”

The councillors said they have written to Stockport town hall about how the borough’s administration intends to assist GMP in tackling antisocial behaviour among young people.

Mr Miah was delivering a takeaway on Hazel Avenue in Romiley
(Image: M.E.N.)

Another resident said: “I think that one of the reasons everyone feels so strongly about what happened is because Romiley is actually a pretty nice place to live.

“When all is said and done, it’s shocking because we aren’t used to things like this happening around here.”

On Saturday, hours after the incident, resident David Speed told the M.E.N. Mr Miah was delivering an Indian meal to his home on Hazel Avenue when he saw his vehicle being taken.

Mr Speed said he heard the doorbell ring before he heard the victim shout ‘no, no, no’.

Mr Miah ran to his car and tried to stop the thieves by clinging to the passenger window, Mr Speed said.

Around five or six police cars arrived soon after, he added.

A GoFundMe set up to raise money for Mr Miah’s family has seen more than £8,500 donated. Hundreds of people have put their hands in their pockets.

Mr Miah’s death has also rocked Hyde – and its Muslim community.

He is understood to have been an executive committee member at a mosque in the town.

Tributes were left for Mr Miah in Marple
(Image: M.E.N.)

MP for Stalybridge and Hyde Jonathan Reynolds posted on Facebook: “I’m very sorry to learn of the death of Nowab Miah, who tragically passed away this afternoon after a carjacking on Friday night in Romiley.

“[He] was just doing his job, delivering a takeaway at the time of this awful attack.”

Hundreds of people from Hyde paid tribute to Mr Miah on Facebook.

Amy Sadler wrote: “Love and thoughts are with all his family and friends, this is so sad.

“Poor man was only doing his job. My heart hurts for his family.”

Katie Branchflower posted: “I’m utterly devastated to read this. Going about his business to work for his family.

“I don’t have any words to fully express my sadness to them”

Jim Fitzpatrick said: “This is very sad news.

“I’ve known Nowab for many years. He was an active member in the community in Hyde and gave his time freely.

“What a terrible loss of life. My sincere condolences to his family.

While Emma Wain wrote: “A lovely, friendly man. Absolutely heartbreaking.”

Mr Miah’s car is still missing.

Detectives believe there were other people involved and are urging witnesses, or anyone with information, to come forward.

On Sunday evening, Chief Inspector Liam Boden, of GMP’s Major Incident Team, said: “This is an extremely tragic case which has rocked the community and left a family utterly devastated.

“We believe there may have been others involved in the incident and a number of lines of enquiry are continuing to be carried out in order for us to find those responsible.

“We’re still asking the public to come forward with any information that may assist us – even the smallest bit of information can prove vital.

“Anyone who may have seen a silver Mercedes in the area at the time or may have seen it in suspicious circumstances since is asked to get in touch – this vehicle could prove vital in our investigation.

“We’re also keen for anyone with any CCTV or dash-cam footage to get in touch.”

Anyone with information should call 0161 856 9821 or 0161 856 9790 quoting log number 2499 of 08/01/2021. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

|Ma Evening Post