May 23 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
An Upton Park man who fired a shotgun in a restaurant blasting his victim in the face with shotgun pellets has been found guilty by a jury of attempted murder.
Judge Richard Foster said that he was considering passing a life sentence on 25-year-old Aktar Miah, of Queens Road.
Two teenagers who were with Miah during the attack last November were told to expect a minimum three-year sentence after they were found guilty of possessing a shotgun with intent to cause fear of violence.
The three will be sentenced after the preparation of reports. They have been remanded in custody.
During a trial at Luton Crown Court, the jury heard the target of the shooting was car dealer Mazhar Iqbal, who was at the Royal Peri Peri restaurant in Bedford.
Jurors saw the moment captured on the restaurant’s CCTV system when Miah came in and fired at his victim.
The shooting happened in the early hours of November 23 last year and it followed an earlier incident at the restaurant.
The court had been told that Miah, 18-year-old Fahim Khan and a 17-year-old, who can’t be named, were involved in an argument with the victim at the restaurant.
A fight is said to have broken out with Mr Iqbal hitting the 17- year-old.
As a result, the court heard the three left but returned shortly afterwards bringing with them a sawn-off shotgun that Miah had brought with him from London. He claimed he thought it was an imitation weapon.
He said he knew the 17-year-old had been having some trouble in the town and said his only intention was to frighten Mr Iqbal, but it went off by accident.
Miah, Khan, from Bedford, and the 17-year-old all denied attempted murder.
Miah was convicted and the two teenagers were cleared. They were also found not guilty of the less serious alternative charge of wounding with intent, which they had denied.
All three denied jointly possessing a shotgun with intent to endanger life. Miah was found guilty and the others found not guilty.
But Khan and the 17-year-old were found guilty of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Miah claimed that Mr Iqbal was drunk and being aggressive in the restaurant, and he had tried to calm the situation but eventually he and the two teenagers left.
The court heard he drove to Maitland Street in Bedford where he spoke to the boys about what had happened.
He said the youngest was going back and so he decided to go with him.
He said they returned and on the way he collected the weapon that he had hid earlier in the alleyway.
Asked why he had taken the gun, he told the court: “My intention was to frighten him and to get him to leave these kids alone.”
He added: “As I raised the weapon, it just went off. I was shocked and scared and frightened, and I just ran out.”