Barber's chair attacker fails to win sentence cut

A TEENAGER who took part in a brutal attack — during which a victim's skull was smashed as he sat in a barber's chair having his beard trimmed — has failed to persuade top judges his sentence was too long.

Shiraz Ali (19) and his older brother Shamas attacked Ismail Hussain (22), with a pickaxe handle in the culmination of a “family feud” as he sat helpless in a chair at a Rotherham barber’s shop in August 2010.

Ali, who was 17 at the time of the attack was sentenced to seven years’ detention at Sheffield Crown Court on December 21, 2010, after pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Shamas Ali was handed nine years' detention.

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Shiraz, of Clough Road, Rotherham, this week asked Lord Justice Toulson, Mr Justice Openshaw and Judge Anthony Morris QC, sitting at London's Criminal Appeal Court, to reduce his sentence.

The court heard that Mr Hussain’s skull was fractured and he was left with permanent brain damage in the attack at Prince Cuts, on Masbrough Street,

Rotherham, during which he was struck repeatedly around the head and body by the brothers.

The attack, which arose out of a six-year family feud, was instigated by the older brother, who telephoned Shiraz after spotting Mr Hussain, telling him to bring a knife or a bat to the scene.

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When Shiraz arrived with a pick axe handle, Shamas struck Mr Hussain over the head, rendering him unconscious and continued to rain down blows before his younger brother took over.

Lawyers for the younger brother argued that he had been treated too harshly for a youth of his age telling the judge that a “false sense of loyalty clouded his judgement.”

But Mr Justice Openshaw dismissed the appeal saying that the victim suffered “most grave life-threatening injuries,”.

“This was a planned attack in pursuit of a feud,” the judge went on.

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“He was recruited by his brother, but he brought a pick axe handle to the scene which was used to cause permanent brain damage. Both brothers struck blows.

“A sentence of seven years cannot be criticised.”

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