Man cleared of racially aggravated attack on pizza shop owner
Categories: Latest News
Tuesday June 21 2016
David Lowes and his partner, Joanne Wigham, stood trial at Teesside Crown Court on charges of racially aggravated assault and criminal damage, and affray respectively.
At an earlier hearing, the jury were asked to return not guilty verdicts on the charges of racially aggravated assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm relating to Wigham.
The court heard the altercation broke out last October when Lowes smashed Muhammad Saeed Ahkter’s car window and repeatedly punched him through it. When Akhter got out of the car, Lowes punched him again.
When challenged by a passerby over the assault Lowes told the witness to “F*** off” while Wigham shouted: “He got us sacked.”
Lowes and Wigham were said to bear Mr Akhter a grudge blaming him for Ms Wigham’s sacking from Siciliano’s pizza shop in Ferryhill.
Lowes denied a charge of racial abuse but admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage. He told the court he had not racially abused the victim during the assault.
Lowes and Wigham were cleared of affray and racially aggravated assault at trial.
Judge Simon Phillips, QC, sentenced Lowes to six months in jail, suspended for 18 months, with 200 hours’ unpaid community work. Lowes was also ordered to pay £500 compensation.
The judge told him: “You lost your temper having taken it upon yourself to follow Mr Ahktar’s vehicle a short distance.
“In the cold light of day you will recognise that was the wrong way to go about the matter and it was courting problems.
“If you had a problem at the time, and indeed, if you have a problem in the future, there are ways of addressing them properly.
“It was apparent that you were concerned to ensure the safety and welfare of your partner. You let yourself down and her down.”