The wife of a man found dying in the back of a van in a Home Counties village has said he was a devoted husband who would never risk his family’s safety.
Shaleem Amar, 33, was found in a white Mercedes Sprinter after police firearms officers pulled over the vehicle on the A30 in Sunningdale, Berkshire, on November 17.
Four men were charged with his murder after a post-mortem examination showed Mr Amar, who had moved to the area with his family just two months ago, died from head injuries.
His wife, who did not want to be named, paid tribute to him, describing how his favourite words to her and their three children were, “I love you more than life itself”. She told how she last saw her husband the day before he was killed when they spent time at the family home, adding that he was an “innocent victim in this ruthless murder”.
In a statement issued through Thames Valley Police, she also said that many reports in the media about her husband, from Hancocks Mount, Sunningdale, near Ascot, were untrue.
She said: “My husband was a committed, private, family man, who would never risk the safety of his family. I will always remember his favourite words to me and my children, ‘I love you more than life itself’.
“I reach out to you, the general public and media, to request that you respect mine and my children’s privacy as we grieve together as a family at this time of great pain and loss.
“I cannot emphasise enough what a devoted husband, loving father, caring son and awesome brother Shaleem was. My husband was loved by all those who came to know him and will forever be remembered with the utter most respect and love.
“The last time I saw my husband was on Tuesday, November 16. We were together spending quality time in our family home, memories of which my children and I will cherish forever. Shaleem was only 33 years old when he was tragically stolen from us. He was an innocent victim in this ruthless murder and we demand that his killers be brought to justice.”
Tom Johnston, 24, Ben Johnston, 26, their father Robert Johnston, 56, all from Pampisford, Cambridge, and Shaun Matthews, 54, from Whittlesford, Cambridge, are in custody charged with murder. They will appear at a plea and case management hearing at Reading Crown Court on March 1.