Ruined life ‘over bag of sweets’

A SHOPKEEPER’S nose was almost severed from his face when he was slashed with a machete after the theft of some sweets, a court heard last week.

Fawad Irshad, 30, was set upon after he dared report a schoolboy shoplifter to police, jurors heard.

The off-licence owner was surrounded by the boy’s older friends just yards from the family business on October 27, 2009, the Old Bailey heard.

Mr Irshad’s nose was “almost completely severed” from his face during the attack and his skull was fractured.

He suffered bleeding on the brain and is now partially paralysed.

Mohammed Adan, 22, Safwaan Patel, 24 and a 17-year-old deny involvement in the “ferocious, quick and sustained attack.”

Two days before the attack the victim had called the police after a group of school children ran into the shop and started grabbing sweets and other stock.

Most Read

One of the boys, aged 13, was stopped by Mr Irshad and held till officers arrived at the shop on Woodgrange Road, Forest Gate.

No charges were pressed and he was escorted home but Adan was furious with Mr Irshad and decided to take revenge, it is said.

Prosecutor Benedict Kelleher said: “The attack was apparently motivated by vengeance, vengeance for the fact that the shopkeeper had caught a shoplifter in his shop, a young boy of 13 years, and he had the audacity - as the gang saw it - to hand the boy over to the police.”

“The leader of that attack was, the prosecution say, Mohammed Adan.

“The prosecution say he was at the forefront and that he wielded the machete, striking repeatedly at Fawad Irshad and causing very serious injuries to his head and face.

“There were several blows to the head which left him with deep cuts to the side of the head and his nose in particular was almost severed by the force of the attack.”

The jury was told a few years before the attack, Adan was alleged to have demanded �100 from Mr Irshad in a ‘protection racket” warning him that otherwise the off-license was in danger.

Jurors heard on October 26, the day after the shoplifting incident, the 17-year-old defendant and a friend went into the shop to confront Mr Irshad about the 13-year-old being reported.

He told Mr Irshad that he and his friends would “jack” his shop and threatened: “I will kill your family and I will burn down your shop.”

On the night of the attack, the family closed the shop shutters and Mr Irshad and a few friends went next door to the Chicken Inn, a takeaway shop.

Mr Kelleher told the court the 17-year-old defendant and a second unknown man went into the fast food shop and asked if he could borrow a mobile phone.

The victim and his friend’s refused.

But another man agreed and it is alleged the teenager telephoned Patel to ask where he and the others were.

“In the meantime Mr Irshad and his friends had come of Chicken Inn and were standing on the pavement,” the prosecutor said.

“It was whilst they were standing there that they were attacked.

“You will see that the attack was both ferocious and quick and lasted no more than 21 seconds.’

Mr Irshad dropped to the floor after the first blow and saw little of the attack.

Mr Kelleher said: “But what he did see was extremely important.

“He saw one of the group approaching him and he recognised him as the man who had in the past threatened the shop and asked for �100 in return.

“That man, the prosecution say, was Mohammed Adan.

“As he approached him, he took the machete out of a sports bag he was carrying and proceeded to strike the victim over the head.”

Two of Mr Irshad’s friends also required hospital treatment.

The 17-year-old and Patel were arrested at their homes the next day.

They claimed they had been in the area at the time of the incident but only so Patel could supply the younger defendant with cannabis.

When Patel’s home was searched, police found 16 plastic bags full of cannabis and he has since admitted possession with intent to supply.

Adan was not caught till January last year but made no comment in interview.

Adan, of Tower Hamlets Road, Forest Gate, denies attempted murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

The teenager, of Forest Gate and Patel, of Sebert Road, Forest Gate, deny a conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.

The younger defendant also denies making a threat to kill.

The trial continues.