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Muslim convert faces jail after knocking boy, 16, unconscious for cuddling girlfriend

Coe, who is 6ft 1ins and 16st 7lb, grabbed the schoolboy around the throat. Credit: Metropolitan Police

A man who acted as a "bodyguard" for radical preacher Anjem Choudary is facing jail after assaulting a schoolboy for cuddling his girlfriend in the street.

Muslim convert Michael Coe, 35, was driving through Newham, east London when he spotted the two 16-year-olds hugging on the pavement on April 15.

He pulled over to confront the couple, demanding to know if they were Muslims and calling the girl a "whore".

He then grabbed the boy by the throat and threw him to the ground before kicking his head as he lay on the floor, leaving him unconscious and bleeding from two head injuries.

When passing schoolteacher Boutho Siwela tried to come to the teenager's aid, he then attacked him.

Coe, from Greenwich, who is 6ft 1in and weighs 16 and a half stone, admitted "shoving" the boy, who is half his size, against a brick wall but claimed he was acting in self defence.

He was convicted by a unanimous jury after a trial at Southwark Crown Court of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and battery.

The court heard the schoolboy already felt Coe was going to attack him when he confronted them near Upton Park tube station.

"I could see he was angry," he said.

When the couple claimed they were not Muslims, although they were, Coe said to the boy: "Why are you acting like a punk in front of your whore girlfriend?"

"I think I said something along the lines, ‘Don’t call her a whore, you don’t know anything about her,'" the boy said.

The victim's girlfriend said she was screaming and crying when Coe attacked her boyfriend, from whom she has now split up, adding: "I was scared. I just saw the blood coming from [the boy’s] head."

"I don’t get why the topic of religion was brought into it. It had no relevance to what was going on," she told jurors.

Coe was part of hate preacher Choudhary's inner circle. Credit: PA

Coe converted to Islam in 2007 while in prison and adopted the name Mikaeel Ibraheem after meeting a senior al-Qaeda planner called Dhiren Barot.

He was described as acting like a "self-appointed enforcer" by the judge, Michael Gledhill QC, who warned he could face more than the maximum set out in legal guidelines.

The jury had not been told that he had been on numerous protests with the radical preacher and was part of his inner circle.

He had also committed a similar offence in May 2013, calling a Muslim schoolgirl a "s***" and her friends "kuffar [heathen] scum".

He has a string of violent offences to his name including threatening police officers with a shotgun while on parole for a knifepoint carjacking.

When Coe was released from jail in Manchester he was met by Mizanur Rahman, Choudary’s right-hand man, who was convicted last month of inviting support for ISIS alongside the preacher.

Coe’s wife and Anjem Choudary’s sister run a beauty salon together in Green Street, West Ham.

Judge Michael Gledhill described Coe as a danger to the public and warned him he will be facing a "substantial" term of imprisonment.

Having seen them cuddling and, in my view, he took offence because he thought that they were Muslim and in his way of thinking, Islam prohibits such behaviour.

He stopped to reprimand them, acting as a self-appointed enforcer of the way he thinks Islam ought to be conducted.

– Judge Michael Gledhill

It is the latest case for a so-called "Muslim Patrol" in which Choudary’s followers have tried to enforce strict Islamic codes of behaviour on the streets of Britain.

Sentencing was adjourned until September 21 for further reports.