Sex offender attacks teen with hedge trimmer

A MAN who subjected a 17-year-old girl to a sustained terror attack with an electric hedge trimmer is behind bars for nearly two years.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Rizwan Asghar hit the victim with the machine after a row, turned it on and threatened to cut her leg off. He had dragged her along the ground by her pony tail and punched and kicked her after driving with her and others to a remote spot outside Burnley.

A walker who saw what happened bravely ran towards the defendant, shouting at him to stop, but he carried on the savage beating and shook his fist at her. The onlooker feared the victim would be killed and told police the assault was "brutal, cold blooded and determined."

Asghar, a sex offender who had flouted the register, was responsible for a "catalogue of offences" over 18 months and had failed to comply with court orders, the hearing was told.

The defendant (25), of Halifax Road, Brierfield, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, failing to comply with the Sex Offenders' Register, breaching a suspended sentence imposed for attacking a hospital security guard and driving with excess alcohol, driving without due care and attention, driving without a licence and with no insurance and obstructing a police officer. He was sent to jail for 94 weeks and banned from driving for three years.

Sentencing, Judge Heather Lloyd branded the defendant an "arrogant and violent bully" and said he had thought nobody would have the courage to give a statement about the assault. She added the defendant had shown no remorse and continued: "Whatever the argument was about it did not justify this behaviour."

Mr Stephen Parker (prosecuting) said in April the victim and others went to some moors and she rowed with him, leading to him brandishing the hedge trimmer initially.

As the argument continued, Asghar threatened to cut off the girl's leg, grabbing her arm and pulling her out of the car, cutting her leg. As the victim lay on the floor, the defendant turned on the hedge trimmer and put it against her leg, gashing it. She managed to get back in the vehicle and her friend locked the door, but the defendant unlocked it and swung the trimmer at her.

Mr Parker said Asghar then threw the victim to the ground, kicked her in the head and dragged her across the ground.

A couple who did not know the party intervened and dragged the defendant off. Other members of the public joined in to help her.

The prosecutor said the victim suffered a cut wrist, swelling and bruising.

The woman who went to the teenager's aid told police Aaghar had been tossing her around like a rag doll.

Asghar was arrested and interviewed, but none of the others in the car would make a statement and he did not make admissions. He was later picked out on an identity parade by the witness and victim.