Two bound over in mosque dispute

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A Burnley man has been cleared of violence charges over an alleged mosque dispute - but a judge bound both him and his alleged victim over to keep the peace.

Hukmat Khan (61) had been arrested after Niaz Khan claimed he hit him repeatedly over the head with an axe near the premises on Burleigh Street, Burnley.

Mr Khan went to hospital for treatment to the injuries he alleged were inflicted by the defendant in the trouble in November 2013, the town’s crown court had been told.

Hukmat Khan, of March Street, Burnley, was found not guilty of assault causing actual bodily harm and having an offensive weapon, after a jury trial.

He had denied the allegations and when interviewed had claimed to the police Mr Khan was the aggressor and that he scuffled with him in self- defence. He denied having an axe.

The hearing was told Khan had been banned by bail conditions from the Shah Jalal Masjid Mosque after the incident.

After the defendant was acquitted, Judge Andrew Woolman asked him to come out of the dock and for the alleged victim to step forward from the public gallery.

He told them he wanted to address himself to both of them.

The judge said they had taken oaths on the Koran or affirmed to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but, he said: “I don’t think we have heard the whole truth from either of you.”

Judge Woolman said what was true, in his view, was that they were fighting in the street and had both been asked to stop by a witness but didn’t.

He addeed: “Your conduct in the street was dreadful, particularly for people who should know better. I don’t know what all this is about.

“It’s something to do with the mosque, but you, Niaz Khan didn’t tell us anything about what was really causing all the trouble and you, Hukmat Khan told the jury very little.”

“I am going to bind you both over to keep the peace for 12 months in the sum of £500.”

The judge said the restriction on Hukmat Khan over not going to the mosque was no longer in force and as far as the court was concerned, he was free to go back if he wished, although that didn’t mean to say the mosque must take him back.