Isbar Ellahi and Shafiq Mohammed spent nearly eight months in prison for 'brawling' with a gang of 15 youths who attacked Isbar's brother, Israr, in Tunstall.
Now both men have been released early after three senior judges at London's Court of Appeal ruled the pair's culpability had been 'seriously overestimated'.Hmmmm….
Mr Ellahi's sister Shakila, of Hartshill, said: "I'm relieved we can start grieving for Israr.
"The system has gone badly wrong. There are no words that can account for what my family and I have gone through. My brother was grief-ridden and frightened when he pleaded guilty."Riiiiight! That must have been it….
Father-of-three Israr, aged 30, was pounced on by thugs outside Tiger Bites takeaway, in Roundwell Street, in June 2010.
Isbar, aged 31, of Stanley Street, Tunstall, and Shafiq, aged 30, of Robert Street, Tunstall, had been passing in a car when trouble flared.Just passing, eh? When trouble flared, eh? How fortuitous!
Family friend Parvez Akhtar was among 400 men who packed into a community centre to call for an inquiry into the police's handling of the case.Why? What are the police supposed to do when someone pleads guilty, ask them if they are really, really sure?
Shafiq's lawyer, Balbir Singh, added: "The judge had no regard at all to the fact the brother of one of the men died, and the very good friend of the other."I didn’t realise that was a defence to affray?
Lord Justice Hooper, sitting with Mr Justice Hamblen and Mrs Justice Thirlwall, ruled suspended sentences were the most the two men should have faced and permitted their release.
The judge said: "Whilst accepting that this court is loathe to interfere with a trial judge's assessment of culpability, we take the view that the judge seriously over-estimated and over-categorised the culpability of these two appellants."In the comments, a rather different view emerges:
“These two men did what all of us would do. Put yourselves in there position. If your driving in your local area and 15 thugs were ganged up literally beating your BROTHER to DEATH, what would YOU do? You wouldn't go stand 5 feet away and politely ask "can you stop that please?" You would physically stop them from killing your loved one. Anyone who says differently is a LIAR!!!!!”This rather inaccurate summation of the affair is challenged vigorously:
“@ muzza1112345 .. well what if this man had a restraining order against him, wasnt even supposed to be in the area, had already had a fight in the pub and been hit to the ground a few hours earlier and was fighting with a group of kids? These are 16-18 year olds were talking about.. in their home street! If a man came up to your kids and was being aggressive and abusive, and his friends and family joined in against them.. i think your kids would stand up for themselves! The news paper has twisted and turned this to make these men look like saints and the kids like monsters.. anything for a good story these days! They stood up to these men, a few punches were thrown and sadly he fell and lost his life.. You believe everything you read? Sheep!!”Now, that puts a different complexion on it, doesn’t it? As does this:
“The pals were jailed for Violent Disorder after pleading guilty, so have they been freed on appeal of thier sentence or on appeal of their conviction? i think its the first option in which case they are still guilty.As for the comments about the deceased been beaten to death how does anyone know this when the inquest is yet to take place and as for the 15 to 1 how come only four youths were charged and two adults were charged and im sure had the deceased not died then he would also have been charged which equates to 4 to 3”A good point…
The inquest should prove interesting:
“"trying to protect a dying man from a mob" Post mortem showed cocaine in his system, a cut on his lip, which was from an earlier fight in a pub which had nothing to do with the kids, and the injury to his head from the fall. Funny, but this doesn't sound consistent with an attack by 15 people? And the kids didn't throw the first punch.. this doesn't sound much like a mob attack either! Since this all happened in the kids home street, why didn't his brothers take him home instead of join in and then run away?”Another good point.
“Guilty................... .. These Two Thugs pleaded Guilty. They were guilty and Jailed according to goverment guildlines. This man came looking for trouble and had been fighting earlier in the local pub. These two clowns came to back their brother/freind up on a mission and life was lost. The Sentinel is not reporting the actual fact here which makes this look like a racial attack. This trio are part of a well knownstreet gang trying to cause trouble in a street where they are not wanted.Once again, we get more information from the comments than we do from the news item itself.