Riot hero gets suspended sentence

Tariq Jahan received a Pride of Britain award for his compassion in the aftermath of his son's death during the riots last year. Credit: REUTERS/Darren Staples

The bereaved father who publicly appealed for calm after his son was killed in last summer's riots was given a 12-month suspended jail sentence for attacking a man near his home in Birmingham last year.

Tariq Jahan attacked 34-year-old Sajjid Ali after the pair got into an argument on the 6th July last year.

The attack took place a month before Jahan made an impassioned appeal for peace after his 21-year-old son Haroon was killed during disorder in the Winson Green area of Birmingham.

Jahan was ordered to pay £1,000 of compensation to his victim and complete 100 hours of community service.

His sentence was suspended for two years. Sentencing Judge William David 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.

The court heard how Mr Ali was taken to hospital and treated for two fractures to his jaw after the altercation. He also lost two of his teeth.

Mr Ali said Jahan attacked him after accusing him of staring at his wife. The court heard how Jahan grabbed him by the throat, knocked him to the floor and then punched him while he was on the ground.

Jahan pleaded not guilty: he said he hit Mr Ali in the face but insisted he acted in self defence.

The judge said he sentenced on the basis that Jahan delivered a single "hard punch" to Mr Ali.

He said:

Ordinarily this would mean that you would go to prison for 12 months but this all happened last July and in August, as everybody in this court knows, you suffered the loss of one of your sons, which was desperate in itself. But more particularly, in the aftermath of this loss you took steps which in my judgment... probably prevented really serious disorder continuing in Birmingham."

Jahn was awarded a Pride of Britain special recognition award for dignity in the aftermath of his son's death last year. He made no comment as he left the court.