A schoolboy was savagely beaten in an ‘honour attack’ after he started dating a girl from a close knit (Muslim) family, a court heard.
Saqib Baig pleaded guilty to affray and grievous bodily harm section 20 unlawful wounding following an honour beating (Picture: Cavendish)
The Bengali 16-year-old, who has not been named, was taken prisoner by a group of Pakistani men and escorted to a cul-de-sac.
There, he was repeatedly kicked about the head, battered with weapons and told: ‘Don’t mess with our blood – find someone your own kind’, it was heard. As the victim fought for his life onlookers – thought to include women – were heard shouting: ‘kill him, kick him in the head, finish him off’. The beating continued after the attackers – which included the girl’s father, uncle and brother – seized the boy’s mobile phone and searched it for evidence he had been dating the girl and found pictures of them together.
The victim was eventually released when members of the lynch mob drove him away from the scene and dumped him near a local barber’s shop. The boy, from Blackburn, Lancashire, was later treated in hospital for injuries similar to those administered by a knuckleduster.
He was left with a scar to his head and is now too scared to leave home by himself. Details of the shocking assault emerged at Preston Crown Court where Khizum Baig, 29, the girl’s brother, college student Saqib Mirza Baig, 29, the girl’s cousin, father of seven Ghazanfar Mirza, 37, the girl’s uncle, and taxi driver Mirza Baig, 48, the girl’s father, faced jail after each pleaded guilty to affray.
The court heard the boy – who cannot be named – had been targeted after he dated a 16-year old girl from the Pakistani community in Blackburn. The pair would secretly meet once a week and communicated mostly by mobile phone. But on March 7 last year their forbidden romance was exposed when they were spotted together by the girl’s uncle Ghazanfar Mirza as he drove past. Ghazanfar then turned his car around and pulled over and asked his niece to get in the car and drove off. But after dropping the girl off he then returned to confront the boy and asked him to get in the car.
Nicholas Flanagan prosecuting said: ‘At this point the boy didn’t consider Ghanzafar to be aggressive and he seemed friendly so he got in the car. ‘But once they were in the car Ghanzafar locked the doors and sped off up the road telling him “you better not be fucking with my niece”. ‘During the journey Ghanzafar was ringing the other defendants asking them for weapons and making it plain that violence was to be perpetrated. ‘He drove to a close where he and Saqib Baig live. Mirza Baig and Khizum Baig then arrived after. ‘Saqib walked to the car where the window was down and demanded the boy’s phone and went through his messages and his calls.
‘He found images of him and the girl together. Saqib leant through the open window and punched the boy several times to the face. ‘Another Male and two females were seen near the car and the boy heard Ghanzafar talking to people on the phone about weapons being brought. Mirza Baig then arrived and punched the boy in the nose.’
Mr Flanagan added: ‘The boy is of Bengali heritage and all of the defendants are of Pakistani heritage and are all related to the girl in some way. ‘The ethnicity of the boy is the background motive for the attack. Comments were made saying “don’t mess with our blood” and “find your own kind”. Both the boy and the girl were still at school and met at school and they were both young. ‘The fact that the girl was in a relationship may have been a motive or added motive.
There are honour overtones to this incident.’ The court heard police tried to interview locals in the cul-de-sac but the only witness who assisted with the investigation was the victim himself. He suffered bruising and lacerations to his ear face, lip, head and torso and at Royal Blackburn Hospital was found to have three large cuts to his head which were treated with staples. They were consistent with blunt force trauma caused by a knuckle duster.
In a statement the boy said: ‘I’ve lost my independence and I’m scared to leave home by myself. I’ve been fearful since the attack and have stopped socialising with friends.
‘It’s had an impact on my schooling and I am self conscious of the scar on my head which causes me pain.’ Ghanzafar also admitted false imprisonment whilst Saqib admitted causing grievous bodily harm. Khizum Baig pleaded guilty to assault by beating. The four men will be sentenced next week and were remanded in custody.