Dale Jones and Damien Hunt, both 30 and from Rotherham, South Yorkshire were found guilty of the unprovoked killing of 81 year old Mushin Ahmed (Photo: South Yorkshire Police)
Elham Asaad Buaras
Two men have been jailed for killing a Muslim pensioner as he walked to morning prayers. Dale Jones and Damien Hunt, both 30 and from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, were found guilty of the unprovoked killing of 81 year-old Mushin Ahmed and were jailed for a combined term of 46 years.
Jones was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life with a minimum of 32 years, while Hunt was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter for which he was jailed 14 years on February 29.
Ahmed was in traditional dress and walking to early-morning prayers at his local mosque in Rotherham, when the pair attacked him on August 10 last year. The pensioner suffered severe head injuries. He died 11 days later in hospital.
Jones had followed Ahmed repeatedly calling him a “groomer” before him and Hunt launched into their attack on the helpless pensioner near a bus stop, a court heard.
The court heard Hunt was the first to punch Ahmed to the ground before Jones began kicking and stamping on the elderly frail man.
Sheffield Crown Court was also told how there were at least three “really heavy stamps” on Ahmed’s face in the continuous and vicious attack.
Jones and Hunt then fled the scene, leaving a bloodied but barely conscious Ahmed lying on the ground. He died in hospital 11 days later due to brain injuries.
Justice Stephen Males QC branded Jones a “racist thug” who had not shown “the slightest remorse for the suffering” he had caused.
He said: “It is a shocking thing in modern Britain that a man should be attacked and beaten and kicked to death just because of the colour of his skin, but there is no doubt that this is what Mr Ahmed suffered.”
The court had heard a member of the public found Ahmed at around 5.25am and flagged down a passing police car.
DNA was recovered by detectives which matched Hunt and CCTV footage recovered from the local community showed a group of men in the area with the duo among them.
South Yorkshire Police’s DCI Victoria Short, branded the attack “brutal and unprovoked assault”.
“’His family and friends have been left absolutely devastated by his death yet they have conducted themselves admirably and with tremendous strength throughout our inquiry, which should be commended.”
Speaking about Ahmed’s “horrific injuries” Short said: “Jones in his anger stamped on Mr Ahmed’s head so hard that we were able to recover a shoe print from his skin – this extreme violence is nothing short of sickening and highlights just how dangerous these individuals are.
“Hunt and Jones have never given an explanation for their own vicious actions that evening, but the court heard how Mr Ahmed was assaulted because of the colour of his skin, a fact that is as disturbing as it is despicable.
“To cause harm to another human being because of their race, ethnicity, or religious belief is simply beyond reproach, I will never understand how anybody can treat another person in such a callous and inhumane manner.”
British Muslim Youth, a Rotherham-based group launched in 2011, told The Muslim News allegations that Pakistani sex offenders were being sheltered by “political correctness” has played into the hands of far-right groups and fuelled a significant rise in Islamophobia in South Yorkshire.
“The sad story of Mushin Ahmed happened as actions conveyor belt themselves towards this tragic murder taking place. It started by excuses and pernicious lies stating the vile criminals that exploited children as young as 13 in Rotherham, were sheltered by political correctness because they were Pakistani men,” said the group’s founder Muhbeen Hussain.
He told The Muslim News; “This [narrative] drove far-right demonstrations and bigoted agendas to exploit the already tense situation in Rotherham. The fact became that Islamophobia hate crimes within the town were on a rise.”