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Ilford thug in nightclub attack loses appeal over sentence

17:04 25 July 2014

A thug who punched an innocent man outside a London club before driving off. despite being banned from the road, had an appeal against his sentence rejected today.

Yasin Ahmed Haji, 26, of Lincoln Gardens, Ilford, left his victim with a blood clot on his brain after flooring him with a single punch.

Haji was jailed for 21 months, and disqualified from driving for 12 months, at Isleworth Crown Court in May after he admitted inflicting actual bodily harm and driving while disqualified.

Today, two senior judges at London’s Appeal Court ruled that his punishment was plainly “within the relevant range” for such serious offending.

Mr Justice Sweeney said the victim and his friends were leaving a Kensington nightclub late on January 27, 2013, when Haji approached him and said: “Are you looking at my wife?”

Haji then punched him to the face, sending him dropping unconscious to the ground. He jumped into a friend’s car and made his getaway, despite being subject to a 42-month driving ban, imposed in 2011 when he had been convicted of dangerous driving.

The victim suffered a cut face and a broken tooth, but although he was discharged from hospital he returned two weeks later complaining of headaches and was found to have a blood clot on his brain.

Haji had made 11 previous court appearances, with convictions for crimes including possessing an offensive weapon, inflicting actual bodily harm, common assault and several road traffic offences, including driving with excess alcohol.

Mr Justice Sweeney, sitting with Sir Roderick Evans, said that the aggravating factors in the ABH offence “significantly outweighed” Haji’s mitigation.

Also pointing to Haji’s “abysmal record in relation to driving”, he concluded: “It seems to us that the total sentence which the judge imposed was within the relevant range and plainly so.”

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