Four men sentenced following honour based violence incident - Watford


Four men appeared at St Albans Crown Court today, Thursday, 12 February 2015, and were sentenced for their roles in a terrifying Honour Based Violence incident, which occurred in Watford last year.

During the incident, a 21-year-old man was kidnapped, beaten and stabbed in the buttocks, and a 19-year-old woman had her hair shorn off.

Arfan Hussain Shah, aged 38, of Paddock Close, Watford, was found guilty by a jury of kidnap on 04 December last year following a trial. He was sentenced to nine years imprisonment with an extended sentence of five years, which means he can be recalled to prison any time within the next 14 years.

Hamzah Chaudry, aged 26, of Albert Road North, Watford, who was the main instigator behind the incident, pleaded guilty to kidnap and was sentenced to five years nine months imprisonment.

Yaser Ahmed, aged 31, of Charlock Way, Watford, pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm (ABH) and was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment.

Khalid Chaudry, aged 53, Albert Road North, Watford, pleaded guilty to ABH and was sentenced to a 12-month community order to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work. He was also given a 12-month supervision order.

Rubina Chaudry, aged 45, of Albert Road North, Watford, pleaded guilty to ABH and was sentenced in November last year to 14 months imprisonment suspended for eighteen months.  Due to reporting restrictions this could not be publicised until today.

On 14 May 2014, the 21-year-old man from Lancashire was kidnapped outside Watford Junction train station, following the discovery he was in a relationship with the 19-year-old woman from Watford, which her family and her family's associates did not approve of despite them both being Muslims.

After being taken to premises in Watford against his will that evening, he was threatened with a machete and subsequently violently assaulted. He was then bundled into the back of a black Astra and driven to a remote part of Northamptonshire, where he was subjected to further assaults before being stabbed, but managed to escape. So great was his fear, that he ran for over an hour, through remote countryside to his safety.

Sentencing them, Judge Stephen Warner said: "Precisely what would have happened had he not made good his escape we will never know. He had very good reason to fear for his life."

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case involved the terrifying kidnap and serious assault and stabbing of a young man in Watford on 14 May 2014 by a group of people who clearly had no regard for the law.

"The young man was driven to a remote area, near Junction 15 of the M1 where he managed to escape.  He ran blindly through fields and mud, and such was his terror of what might have happened to him, he banged repeatedly on a remote farmhouse door, begging for help saying there were people trying to kill him.

"This was a completely unjustified, planned and premeditated attack. The victim, a young Muslim student, was attacked because he was having a relationship with a woman and members of her family, her parents and two brothers, disapproved of their relationship and deemed him unsuitable.

"Having discovered the relationship, Hamzah Chaudry, the elder brother, who ran the local taxi firm at Watford Junction Railway station, took the lead in kidnapping the young man with Arfan Hussain Shah, a friend of the family.  Both were convicted of kidnap and Hamzah Chaudry was also convicted of assault.  Khalid Chaudry, the father, was convicted of assaulting the young man as was Yaser Ahmed, another friend of the family.  The young girl had her hair shorn by Rubina Chaudry, her mother, who was also convicted of assault.

"These inexcusable so called 'honour' crimes affect the cohesion of families and communities. There is no honour in these type of offences, and no circumstances in which the CPS and the police will not prosecute with the utmost rigour those who commit such crimes.

"This case illustrates the determination of the CPS and police to bring all such perpetrators to justice. We hope that this investigation, and the prosecutions, convictions and sentences will deter others who may wish to harm their own family members or others, because of practices that are as tragic as they are outdated.

"Understandably, the events on that day have had a significant impact on the victim both physically and psychologically. I hope that the convictions and today's sentences will in some way help him to come to terms with the horrifying events with the knowledge that those that subjected him to the terrible ordeal have been brought to justice.  Our thoughts are very much with him at this time."

Detective Sergeant Ian Siggery, from Watford Police Station's Local Crime Unit, who led the investigation, said: "In all of my years as a detective this was one of the most horrifying cases I have dealt with, not only because of the violence used, but because those inflicting the fear and violence were known to the victims and should have cared for them.

2All defendants in this case coerced with each other and plotted this attack to inflict violence and fear on two innocent young people.  Although all of the defendants have been sentenced for their equal roles in this case - the main offenders, Arfan Hussain Shah and Hamzah Chaudry played a leading role and have been sentenced for committing a callous and heartless crime. Hamzah Chaudry was the 'mastermind' behind the attack and has shown no remorse for his actions.

"We are pleased that this case has come to a conclusion, not only because of the severity of the offences and violence inflicted on the victims in this case, but also because it sends out a clear message to the public. Violence will not be tolerated on the streets of Hertfordshire - and this includes so-called 'Honour' Based Violence cases.

"I hope the sentences passed today can bring some closure to the victims who were targeted for being two young people in a relationship.

2I would urge anyone who feels they are in a situation where they are being forced to do something against their will, or being subjected to, or threatened with violence to come forward. We will help you and bring the perpetrators to justice. You can also contact the Karma Nirvana charity on 0800 599 9247."

David Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, said: "Honour Based Violence remains an under reported crime. I commend Hertfordshire Constabulary for ensuring that this case has been brought before the courts and those involved have been sentenced for their actions. I hope the sentence passed today will reassure victims and people suffering this type of crime and encourage them to come forward. Help is available."