Birmingham & Black Country

Riot victim's father Tariq Jahan guilty of attack charge

A man who called for calm after his son died in the Birmingham riots has been found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm in an earlier attack.

Tariq Jahan broke a man's jaw when he punched him last July in Handsworth.

Jahan, 46, told Birmingham Crown Court he acted in self defence and was cleared of causing GBH with intent.

The judge said Jahan deserved to be sent to jail but gave him a suspended sentence owing to his public appeal for calm during the August riots.

'Extraordinary position'

Jahan's son Haroon was one of three men who died in Winson Green during the riots in Birmingham.

Sentencing judge William Davis QC said: "People who break people's jaws in this kind of mindless violence normally go to prison but I take a view that because of his extraordinary position it is right to suspend sentence."

Jahan was given a 12-month sentence suspended for two years.

He was ordered to complete 100 hours unpaid service and to pay £1,000 compensation to Sajjad Ali, the man he punched.

The court heard how Jahan had been driving along Factory Road in July and had beeped his horn at a van blocking his route.

Headbutting claim

Mr Ali, 34, had been standing by the roadside speaking to the van driver and mouthed something aggressively to Jahan, who was accompanied by his wife.

Jahan told the jury he got out of the car to speak to Mr Ali to try to resolve the situation.

He then admitted hitting Mr Ali who he claimed had headbutted him first.

Mr Ali disputed that version of events.

He claimed Jahan became aggressive because he accused Mr Ali of staring at his wife.

Mr Ali told the court Jahan said: "Oi, why you staring at me?" before he climbed out of his car and accused him of "staring at my missus".

Mr Ali's jaw was fractured in two places and he lost two teeth in the assault.

The prosecution said Jahan must have used "moderate to severe" force to inflict those injuries.

Jurors on Thursday accepted that Jahan's did not intend to seriously harm Mr Ali on 6 July, 2011.

'Genuine public service'

A month later Jahan's 21-year-old son Haroon and two friends, brothers Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31, were struck by a car during disorder in Winson Green as riots spread across England.

All three were declared dead in hospital and hailed as heroes who died protecting homes and shops from looters.

Within hours of Haroon's death Jahan addressed a group of youths outside his home and appealed for them to "calm down", end the disorder and "go home".

Addressing Jahan directly on Thursday the judge said his actions in August were a "genuine public service".

He said in the aftermath of his son's death Jahan's actions "probably prevented really serious disorder continuing in Birmingham."

He told Jahan: "There is in your case this extraordinary combination of events. For that reason and that reason alone I can suspend the sentence."

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