Gang jailed after attacking teacher for giving lessons to Muslim girls

Four men who beat an East End teacher to a pulp for giving lessons on religious studies to Muslim girls have been jailed.

Gary Smith has been left with permanent scarring after being cut from his ear to his mouth and also suffered a fractured skull, bleeding in the brain and a broken jaw after being pounced on by the gang in Burdett Road, Mile End last year.

Armed with a knife, a brick and a metal rod, Akmol Hussain, 26, Azad Hussein, 26, Simon Alam, 19, and Sheikh Mohammed Meraj Rashid, 27 repeatedly kicked and hit Mr Smith, who taught at Central Foundation Girls’ School in Bow.

Akmol Hussain had pre-planned the attack with the others because the teacher was “mocking Islam” and “putting doubt in people’s minds”, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard in evidence.

Unbeknown to the gang, the security services had fitted Hussain’s car with a recording device and were later able to retrieve evidence where all four men boasted about their violent plans.

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In it, he bragged: “I turned and hit him on the face with the rod and he went flying and fell on his stomach.”

Alam was heard saying: “I broke his leg, his elbow.”

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Akmol Hussain and Azad Hussein must serve a minimum of five years and Rashid at Alam was sentenced to 10 years at a young offenders’ institution and must serve at least half.

A further man, Badruzzah Uddin, 24, was given a two-year sentence after pleading guilty to hiding some of the gang’s blood-stained clothing following the assault.

Supt Colin Morgan, of Tower Hamlets police, said the community was “shocked by the vicious assault”.

He added: “Mr Smith was struck without warning, and was subjected to an appalling level of violence with no opportunity to defend himself.”

Hussein, Hussain and Alam had first set out to attack Mr Smith on two previous occasions on 8 and 9 July but ended up pouncing on July 12 as he made his way to work.

Police were not aware that the attack was being planned.

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