Riot victim's father spared jail sentence

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The Independent Online

Tariq Jahan, the bereaved father from Birmingham whose appeal for calm after his son's death in last summer's riots helped quell further violence, was spared jail yesterday after being convicted of grievous bodily harm.

The 46-year-old was found guilty after a four-day trial at Birmingham Crown Court of breaking the jaw of a man during an argument.

Judge William Davis 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 the sentence."

Jahan won international acclaim in August when, hours after his son Haroon was run over and killed by a car driven by looters, he gave a speech to the city's youth, calling on them to shun retribution and go home.

But in July, a month before the riots, he assaulted Sajjad Ali, 34. Mr Jahan denied the allegations, arguing that he acted in self-defence.

He was given a 12-month sentence suspended for two years. He was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid service and to pay £1,000 compensation to Mr Ali.