Three Brierfield men embroiled in a family feud chased their foe through the streets of Nelson, and one of them, brandishing a Samurai sword, threatened to kill him.
Burnley Crown Court was told that, on the morning of their trial, Irfan Afzal, Ali Faisal and Asim Hussain had pleaded guilty to charges of affray and were appearing before Judge Beverly Lunt for sentence.
Irfan Afzal and Ali Faisal also admitted having offensive weapons.
Jailing Afzal (24), of Limefield Avenue, Judge Lunt said she would be failing in her duty to protect the public from being at risk from those who carry weapons in the street. She sent him down for 15 months for the affray with 15 months concurrent for having the sword. Afzal had four previous convictions for violence, one of which was committed after the affray.
Afzal’s co-accused were each given suspended sentences. Ali Faisal (23), of Castle Street, had carried a wooden stick during the affray. He was given 12 months in a young offenders’ institution, suspended for a year, with four months concurrent for the offensive weapon. Judge Lunt said she had noted he was of previous good character and had kept out of trouble since the offence that took place at midnight on January 13th, 2013.
Hussain’s part in the offence had been to drive one of the cars used in the chase and to use his use his car to force the complainant, Mr Mahmood, to a halt by swerving in front of his car. He was jailed for 10 months, suspended for a year. Hussain had also breached sentences imposed by magistrates for motoring offences. Judge Lunt said that although he did not use the offensive weapons he was well aware that they were there.
The court was told the three men’s actions had been recorded on CCTV. Police set off in search of the attackers after a tip off. They were called by a woman who was in Railway Street and saw a car being flashed, pulling over and having a window smashed. The driver sped off in an attempt to get away from two cars that gave chase.
“It was terrifying behaviour”, said Judge Lunt. “And it only stopped because the police intervened and the victim saw the police and called for help.
“This was a disgraceful incident. You were very determined to threaten him and he had not been able to escape. It was premeditated and sustained, and weapons were used.”
Mr Richard Taylor, for Hussain, said he admitted that at the time of the offence he had been stupid and immature.
Mr Philip Holden, for Ali Faisal, said he was a hard worker in the family-run grocery business and that he had recently qualified as an estate agent and intended to open a business locally.
For Afzal, Mr Holden said he had problems in his life from family issues and alcohol. A serious knee injury had altered his life; he had problems with mobility and spent his days helping to look after his ageing parents.