A businessman was today spared jail after attacking a business partner over an ice cream parlour deal gone wrong – but was told he won’t have to start his punishment until Ramadan is over.
Imran Amin was placed on an electronic tag confining him to his home address overnight for 12 weeks over the attack on Muhammad Mehmood in Dundee’s Lyon Street last November 2.
But a sheriff ordered that doesn’t start until June 16 – the day the Muslim month of fasting ends this year.
Amin’s lawyer said he was a “pillar of the community” and held a position within his Mosque working with youngsters.
A sheriff told him he was “on the cusp” of a jail sentence – but instead gave him unpaid work and the tagging order, which won’t start until the holy month ends.
An earlier trial at Dundee Sheriff Court heard Amin and his victim were previously close friends and had gone into business together at the Red Berry ice cream parlour in Dundee’s Crichton Street.
Amin told cops that when the business was later sold he believed there was to be a “50/50” split of the proceeds.
But when that verbal agreement went wrong Amin carried out a violent assault on Mr Mehmood after turning up at his house with two ‘heavies’ – which a jury found was with the intent of robbing him.
The court was told Amin threatened him with violence and demanded money before grabbing him by the neck and restricting his breathing.
Amin then seized his thumb and bent it backwards, demanded the logbook and keys for Mr Mehmood’s car and tried to forcibly remove them from the motor.
Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told a jury at the trial: “This trial is not about who owed who money over the Red Berry ice cream parlour.
“This is not the small claims court, this is not Judge Judy.
“It was put to Mr Mehmood that he was motivated by money and suggested that he was a greedy person.
“Mr Amin’s interview is total character assassination of his former friend.
“I’d suggest that is his police interview shows one thing it is that the accused is motivated by money – he spends most of his interview rambling on about it.
“The Crown case here is that there is a dispute between these men about money.
“Mr Amin is fed up of Mr Mehmood flaunting his wealth and decides to try and enforce this debt that he feels he is owed, and turns up at Mr Mehmood’s home with not one but two ‘heavies’ with one goal – to convince Mr Mehmood to pay him back.
“What does Mr Amin say at interview? ‘Mate if I’m gonna rob someone, I’m no gonna rob someone, I’ll get somebody else to do it’.
“I suggest that was exactly his plan that day, he had turned up with his two pals to get them to do his dirty work or at the very least to assist him.
“Things don’t work out like that, perhaps because Mr Mehmood refused to leave his car and get into Mr Amin’s car.
“The three men end up in Mr Mehmood’s car. They are in an enclosed space, it is three against one.
“All three men but in particular Mr Amin act aggressively towards Mr Mehmood, making threats of violence towards him and demanding the documentation for the car.”
Amin, 41, of Mayfield Grove, Dundee, denied a charge of assault and robbery on indictment.
After a three-day trial he was convicted by a jury of an altered charge of assault with intent to rob.
Defence solicitor Anne Duffy said: “It wasn’t his intention that any harm come to the complainer that day.
“At one point the two men had been extremely close – as close as brothers.”
Sheriff Linda Smith imposed a community payback order with 300 hours unpaid work and a restriction of liberty order confining Amin to his home address from 9pm til 6am every day for 12 weeks.
She said: “To be frank my intention this morning was to impose a term of imprisonment.
“Having heard from your solicitor and read the reports I can step away from that.
“You have a place in the local community where you are respected but that respect has been flaunted.”