DETAILS of a murderous hitman’s criminal past finally emerged as he was ordered to spend at least the next 34 years of his life behind bars for firing the fatal shot that killed Aya Hachem.

Zamir Raja was hired by Feroz Suleman to kill his business rival Pachah Khan in May of last year, with the gunman firing two shots from the back of a Toyota Avensis.

But rather than striking Mr Khan as he had intended, Raja’s first shot hit the front window of Quickshine Tyres while his second almost immediately killed Aya, a student at Salford University who had been studying to become a lawyer.

On Thursday morning, Preston Crown Court heard all about Raja’s criminal past, as he and his co-defendants were jailed for a total of 216 years.

Prosecutor Mr Nicholas Johnson QC detailed how in 2005 at the age of just 16, Raja was first sentenced to detention for possession of heroin with intent to supply.

At the same age he was detained for sexual assault on a female.

Two years later in 2007 when he was 18, he was detained for an offence of attempted child abduction.

He was sentenced to 18 months in a Young Offenders Institution after it came to light that he approached a lone 13-year-old and offered her a cigarette.

Upon doing so he placed his arm around her and then offered her alcohol but she became scared and ran away. The police were later called and Raja arrested.

In 2010 Raja was convicted of robbery and aggravated vehicle taking and was sentenced to a total of 6 years and 11 months.

During that incident Raja, of Davyhulme Road, Stretford, and his two co-defendants left their victim with injuries so severe that he was in intensive care for 11 days.

The criminal pasts of Raja’s co-defendants in the Aya Hachem murder trial also emerged on Thursday, including details of Feroz Suleman’s death by dangerous driving convictions and Ayaz Hussain’s assault charge.

Mitigating for Raja, Mr Peter Glenser QC said: "He has written a short letter, which reads 'I would like to start this brief letter by apologising for lying on the stand, I was in denial due to the shame that I had caused.

"'The grief I have caused is unimaginable and I take full responsibility for my actions and the role that I played.”

He has said that he will take the time during his sentence to reflect on his mistakes, and is willing to do ‘whatever it takes’ to help Aya’s family in the future.

"He said: 'It was never the intention for anything like this devastation to happen'.”