Businessman spared jail for vicious attack after handing in character references from council leader and mayor

A businessman who left his victim needing complex eye-surgery after a vicious attack was spared jail after he handed the judge references from two prominent Redbridge politicians.

Well-connected Shahid Hussain, 30, of Golfe Road, Ilford, looked set to be facing a long prison sentence after he smashed the windscreen of Osama Zafar’s car in a fit of rage, leaving fragments of glass in his eye.

But the father-of-three walked free from court today, handing over references from Redbridge Council leader Cllr Keith Prince and Mayor Cllr Muhammed Javed.

He was described as a pillar of the community, and praised for his voluntary work as a football coach for young people.

Handing him a suspended sentence the judge, Miss Recorder Caroline Goodwin, said: “I have received documents from Councillor Javed and Councillor Prince which describe your role within the community, your work for charities and your commitment to your family.

“They describe this offending as completely and utterly out of character.”

Mr Zafar was said to be “minding his own business” in Fenman Gardens, Goodmayes, on July 11 2011, when he got into a row with Hussain’s wife.

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Hussain became involved, slapping him twice in the face, before Mr Zafar drove his Volkswagen Golf back to Empress Drive, Ilford, to avoid the confrontation.

The businessman appeared carrying a black metal pole, and smashed the windscreen of the car, sending glass shards flying into Mr Zafar’s eye.

After a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court he was convicted of unlawful wounding, criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon.

But Hussain still maintains his innocence, claiming he was mistakenly identified.

He was handed an 18-month sentence, suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £700 compensation and £500 court costs.