Five cleared of dad’s racial gang attack

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FIVE youths have been cleared of a racially motivated assault on a father of three as he went to pick his son up from a mosque.

Daniel Corby, 18, of White Lee and four others who cannot be named for legal reasons, had all pleaded not guilty to attacking the 51-year-old man Asian man on August 12 last year.

At Dewsbury Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, the youths’ solicitors Paul Blanchard, Simon Lindley, Paul Normandale, Carl Kingsley and Robert Dawson made submissions that all five had no cases to answer.

District Judge Marie Mallon said that although she was in no doubt the victim, Khalid Mahmood, had been assaulted, there was not sufficient evidence to say who had carried out the attack.

The court heard how Mr Mahmood, from Heckmondwike, had been walking down a ginnel between Goose Hill and Cemetery Road when he saw a group of young men in his path.

Prosecuting, James Goddard said Mr Mahmood was racially abused before being assaulted.

He said: “His son was walking down Bath Road and went across the playing fields and saw the attack.”

Mr Mahmood told the court how he had been terrified by the assault and ran to the main road for help as he was being punched.

He said: “Some of them were sitting and some were standing in the ginnel. One of them made a funny noise and and they insulted me.

“I looked back and felt something hit me. Then they started hitting me.”

Mr Mahmood said he was punched about 10 times and had to “duck and dive” to avoid the punches.

He added: “I was terrified and I didn’t know what to do. I tried to run away from the situation to protect myself.”

The court heard how Mr Mahmood was left with cuts and bruising to his face and head.

His glasses were knocked onto the floor and were recovered by police later.

A statement from Mr Mahmood’s son, which was read out in court, said he was on his way home when he saw two boys follow his father through the ginnel.

He said he heard a couple of the youths shouting but saw only one of them punch him.

Mr Kingsley said the evidence from Mr Mahmood and his son was contradictory. He added: “Mr Mahmood is confused as to who was involved in the assault. He can’t be sure and that is obvious. His evidence is undermined by that of his son.”

District Judge Mallon agreed the statement contradicted what Mr Mahmood had said.

She said that at times Mr Mahmood’s evidence was “vague and inaccurate” and that this was understandable because of his fear and the speed of the attack.

She added: “There have been no admissions of involvement and there is not sufficient evidence to convict anyone.”