Father and son jailed after Brierfield street melee

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A “GANG leader” and his son are behind bars after mob violence in which a man was knifed and another victim left with a head wound.

Burnley Crown Court heard how, in the melee, which brought between 50 and 60 people out onto Montague Street, Brierfield, Waseem Saeed twice stabbed defenceless Mohammed Altaf in the back, putting him in hospital for days.

As he struck, Saeed told his victim: “Take this” and afterwards proudly, and with bravado, asked him: “Did you feel it?”

Mr Altaf, who had been trying to stop the trouble on May 23rd, already had a medical condition for which he needed to take blood thinning medication. He had surgery and had to go back to hospital again for more treatment when complications set in.

Not long after the attack, the second victim, Mohammed Hanif, suffered a cut to his head after the defendant’s father, Saeed Ahmed (59), hit him with his walking stick. The victim, who had also been trying to restore peace, suffered a gash which had to be glued.

Saeed was jailed for four years after admitting wounding. He was in breach of a suspended prison term. Ahmed admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and was locked up for 14 months. He had no previous convictions. Both father and son lived in Montague Street.

The court had been told how Ahmed believed he had been insulted by a community member, went to look for him and was angry, as were other family members. At 5-45 p.m. he was on the street, with a lot of people, demanding the person he thought had wronged him be punished.

Two phone calls were made and the person and his party arrived in a car, thinking he would be able to apologise. But he had been lured to the street by Ahmed’s “gang”, said to have had violence in mind. Up to 60 people were on the street and tempers were starting to be lost.

The hearing was told Saeed and other men ran into his family home and came out armed with bats and sticks. Saeed also had the more ferocious weapon. Mr Altaf, who was unarmed, tried to intervene and pinned one of the men against a wall. The defendant then knifed him twice and some of the others set about the other party’s vehicle. Mr Hanif also got involved in a bid to help and Ahmed hit him over the head.

Mr Adrian Palmer (for Saeed) said he had fled abroad as a result of his actions, but had come back to face the music.

The defendant, who came from a supportive family, had become involved in something which clearly he should not have done. The barrister added: “It certainly wasn’t on his part in any way a revenge attack or anything of that nature.”

For Ahmed, Mr Martin Hackett said he did not accept he had had violence in mind, although he accepted threats had been made. The barrister continued: “While he did behave in a disgraceful manner, for him to behave in such a way, in my submission, is out of character.” Mr Hackett added that although the defendant, the father of a number of children, made a bad situation worse, he could be given a chance and not sent to custody.

Sentencing, Judge Robert Altham said Mr Altaf had shown courage in trying to intervene. The judge, who described Ahmed as the gang leader, said he had had violence in mind. Judge Altham continued: “This was a highly inflammatory situation, which could have escalated info an extremely serious incident of public disorder.”