Great Britain

Car salesman jailed over 'unprovoked' attack on gay man

A car salesman has been jailed after a gay man was subjected to an “unprovoked and vicious” assault in a city centre more than three years ago.

Saqib Rehman and his brother Wasiq attacked their victim in the early hours of September 17, 2017, while he and his partner were waiting for a taxi on Morley Street, the crown court heard.

Saqib Rehman, 32, of Fairbank Road, Girlington, Bradford, joined in the assault that was started by his brother, prosecutor John Batchelor told the court.

During the attack, in which a third unidentified man stamped on the victim’s head, one of the group shouted “gay bas****s.”

Saqib Rehman was originally charged with Section 18 grievous bodily harm but his plea to the lesser offence of assault occasioning actual bodily harm was accepted by the prosecution.

He was jailed for nine months by the Recorder of Bradford, Judge Richard Mansell QC, who said that his brother, who started and finished the attack, would be imprisoned for longer when he is sentenced on February 26.

The court was told that Wasiq Rehman was poorly in Pakistan after both brothers had travelled there to attend their father’s funeral.

His absence was agreed by the court as he was also caring for their mother who had heart problems, it was stated.

Mr Batchelor said the victim was subjected to an unprovoked and homophobic assault after attending a takeaway following a night out in Bradford.

One of his friends was singing Disney songs that seemed to have caused “umbridge and upset.”

While the couple were waiting for a taxi, the brothers pulled up in a Mercedes.

Wasiq Rehman then punched the victim and Saqib Rehman joined in the attack while the man was on the ground.

Wasiq delivered the final punch that knocked him unconscious, Mr Batchelor said.

The man, who attended court for the hearing, sustained fractures to his nose and eye socket.

In his victim personal statement he said his eyesight had been damaged and he now needed to wear glasses.

He used to enjoy going out but he rarely did now and he was very anxious about who was around him, the court heard.

Mr Batchelor said it was “an unprovoked, aggressive and sustained attack,” in which threats were made not to call the police.

Giles Bridge said in mitigation that Saqib Rehman was apologetic and remorseful.

The offence was wholly out of character and he had not been in any trouble in the three years and four months since.

He had recently married and his car sales business would suffer badly if he was unable to run it himself.

But Judge Mansell said he had attacked a dazed and defenceless man, delivering a punch to his face as he lay on the ground.

The fact that the case had taken “an inordinate and unconscionable” time to reach sentence was mainly down to the fact that the brothers had denied the offence.

Judge Mansell said he would be failing in his public duty not to imprison a defendant for such unprovoked street violence.

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