Sunday, May 27, 2007

Soft on crime?

Former Liberal Democrat councillor Dilawar Khan got into a bit of bother a few weeks ago when he was involved in a brawl after a community meeting in Sparkbrook. He claims that he was attacked after raising questions over spending from the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund and ended up spending a night in hospital as his nose was broken in three places.

John Hemming identified those responsible
'This is a worrying movement towards more violent campaigns that Respect need to be held responsible for.'
Dilawar Khan said that
'I am really, really disappointed. I am the injured party. I was assaulted in public, and spent a night in hospital. How do they justify this? I am really angry about it. I think the police have let me down. I think they are giving licence to young people to attack older people. I'm really frustrated by the police's action.'
I have done a little digging on this story, but owing to lack of corroboration and a well-founded fear of Cllr Hemming's millions and tame legalistas, I'm being a little cautious. So, here's what I consider to be safe ground. I should point out that the community worker involved on the other side of this affair denies the claims made by Dilawar Khan, but then he would say that, wouldn't he? Intriguingly, I understand that the community worker had already complained to the police some weeks earlier regarding threats made towards him.

Let's turn the clock back to March and the original story, when then-Cllr Khan told the media,
'When I came back, he met me in the foyer and started arguing and swearing at me. Then he pulled me down and kicked me in the face. The rest of the people in the meeting came along and pulled him off me.'

Curiously, those people don't seem to have been able to add anything to the evidence, as the Crown Prosecution Service declined to prosecute the case further as there was insufficient chance of a conviction as
'it was one man's word against another'
Another point to note is that the police were considering charges of affray and not assault. Affray is a charge typically used where a fight or assault happens in a public place and another person (not the victim) is left in fear as a result. Why did the police not consider charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against the community worker allegedly involved, given that Cllr Khan had suffered a broken nose?

Inner city politics - always murkier than you first think.


George Calthorpe said...

PH, it has occurred to me that you do seem to post a disproportionate amount of anti-Lib Dem stuff on your blog.

Tories no longer a threat then?

PoliticalHack said...

Attacking the Tories is business. Duffing up the LibDems is just sheer pleasure.