Shoayb Pathan, a Muslim dad involved in last year’s violence in East Leicester, during which he charged at a masked group of Hindus armed with a meat hook, has been sentenced.
He was apprehended while running along Spence Street in Spinney Hills during a clash that occurred on Saturday, September 17, last year, involving approximately 500 men.
This incident transpired during the peak of disorder in East Leicester in August and September 2022.
In a court session at Leicester Crown Court on Wednesday (20), bodycam footage from a Leicestershire Police officer was presented, showing Pathan, 37, panting as he attempted to persuade the police that he had merely “found” the meat hook and armed himself out of fear, Leicester Mercury reported.
Pathan then fled down the road when their attention was diverted.
On that day, the court learned that the police force was significantly outnumbered in the Spinney Hills area, resulting in difficulties in making arrests.
The primary focus of the police was on maintaining separation between groups of Hindus and Muslims during the incident.
Prosecutor Lucia Harrington said that the disorder encompassed various criminal offenses, including affray, criminal damage, and violent disorder across the Spinney Hills, Highfields, and Belgrave areas of Leicester.
She said it led to unrest and fear among the local residents.
The situation reached its highpoint on September 17th and 18th in Green Lane Road, resulting in a confrontation that required a significant police intervention to restore order. During this period, law enforcement recovered various weapons, including knives, sticks, and taser-type devices.
The consequences of these events were deeply felt within the local community. Residents were apprehensive about leaving their homes, and there were notable concerns about the ongoing operation of schools.
Additionally, several businesses and shops were compelled to close their doors due to the violence.
During the court proceedings, it was revealed that a significant number of individuals involved in the conflict were armed with metal poles and various weapons.
Pathan’s possession of a meat hook, described as a “large and dangerous object” by Recorder William Davis, the presiding judge, was particularly concerning.
The judge expressed deep concern after reviewing police bodycam footage of the incident.
Lucia Harrington, the prosecutor, recounted the incident captured on camera, explaining that Pathan dropped the meat hook and claimed he had found it in a car park because he was frightened.
However, it was noted that he was running toward, not away from, the disturbance.
Pathan, who admitted to one count of affray, holds a position as a software tester at Next, where he supervises a team of 15 individuals. He is a parent of three children, and his wife is currently expecting their fourth child, the court heard.
Representing Pathan, who resides on Asfordby Street in Spinney Hills, Gary Short described his client as a responsible and hard-working individual.
He emphasised Pathan’s role as a devoted father, husband, uncle, and son, highlighting that he served as the primary breadwinner for his family.
Additionally, Pathan provided assistance to his sick and elderly parents and frequently cared for his sister’s young daughter, who has learning difficulties.
Short said, “They rely heavily on the defendant. He regrets his actions and feels shame for what he’s done.”
Despite the seriousness of the matter, Recorder Davis chose not to imprison Pathan.
Instead, he imposed a nine-month suspended sentence, to be in force for 18 months. Furthermore, Pathan is required to complete 200 hours of unpaid community work.
Recorder Davis acknowledged the extraordinary circumstances of the case, marked by widespread disorder in Leicester at that time and the participation of Pathan and others. However, he emphasised that this decision was made with some reservations.