Jail for ‘courageous’ Munir Hussain who beat intruder with cricket bat
A businessman who fought off knife-wielding thugs after his family were threatened has been jailed for 30 months.
The case prompted renewed debate over the level of force that house-holders can use against raiders.
Munir Hussain, chairman of the Asian Business Council, was praised by a judge for his “courage” in defending his wife and three children from an attack — but then jailed for the violence of his response. One of his attackers was spared a jail sentence.
The incident occurred when the Hussain family returned from their mosque during Ramadan to find three intruders wearing balaclavas in their home. Hussain was told that he would be killed. His family’s hands were tied behind their backs and they were forced to crawl from room to room.Hussain, 53, made an escape after throwing a coffee table and enlisted his brother Tokeer, 35, in chasing the offenders down the street in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, bringing one of them to the ground.
What followed was described in Reading Crown Court as self-defence that went too far. Walid Salem, one of the intruders, suffered a permanent brain injury after he was struck with a cricket bat so hard that it broke into three pieces. Neighbours saw several men beating Salem with weapons, including a metal pole.
Munir Hussain is said to feel that he let down his wife, Shaheen Begum, sons Awais, 21, Samad, 15, and 18-year-old daughter Arooj, by failing to defend them against Salem and his gang. Mrs Begum had told the court that she feared the raiders had killed her youngest son. She said: “They were hitting my husband. When I asked them to stop or looked up they started hitting him again. They told us to lie face down and not speak, or they would kill us. It was very terrifying.”
Salem was the only intruder caught after the incident in September last year, but his injuries meant that he was not fit to plead after being charged with false imprisonment. Salem, who has 50 past convictions, was given a two-year supervision order in September this year. He is now in custody awaiting trial for an alleged credit card fraud.
Munir and Tokeer Hussain, described as family men at the heart of the local community, were found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent this year. The prosecution alleged that two other men also took part in the “revenge attack”. Judge John Reddihough gave a 30-month sentence to Munir and jailed Tokeer for 39 months.
Munir Hussain, who trained as an engineer, came to Britain in 1964 and founded a company that employs nine people and with a turnover of £2.4 million. He is a former chairman of the Wycombe Race Equality Council.
Judge Reddihough said that Hussain’s family had been subject to a “serious and wicked offence” and praised the bravery of his teenage son, who escaped to raise the alarm. He also noted the “courage” of Munir Hussain, but said that he carried out a “dreadful, violent attack” on Salem as he lay defenceless.
The judge told them: “If persons were permitted to take the law into their own hands and inflict their own instant and violent punishment on an apprehended offender rather than letting justice take its course, then the rule of law and our system of criminal justice, which are the hallmarks of a civilised society, would collapse.” Michael Wolkind, QC, defending Munir Hussain, promised to appeal.
He said that the case had similarities to that of Tony Martin, jailed in 2000 for shooting dead a teenage burglar. Martin’s murder conviction was reduced on appeal to manslaughter and his sentence to five years. In a statement, the family said: “We are devastated. We hope that justice will be served.”
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Tags: Britain, England, muslim, crime, knife, jail, innocent, defence, legal, munir, hussain, businessman, cricket bat, loss, of, freedom
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