Driver jailed for revenge attack on victim

21/12/2012

A man who took revenge against a victim who gave evidence against him in court was today sentenced to 11 years imprisonment at Birmingham Crown Court for arson with intent to endanger the lives of seven adults and a six month-old baby boy last year.

Mohammed Kasir, aged 30, was involved in an incident which resulted in his car knocking Lesley Butterwick off her scooter. He was arrested and prosecuted, and was banned from driving for six months in January 2011.

Kasir later launched an appeal against his conviction, however, he also attempted to manipulate the criminal justice system for his own end by orchestrating a campaign of terror against Mrs Butterwick which ultimately led to her home being set on fire.  

James Jenkins, Sector Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said:

"This was the act of an extremely dangerous man motivated it would seem by the desire to escape a driving ban.

"The chain of events that led to this conviction began in March 2010 when Mohammed Kasir was driving a car that knocked Lesley Butterwick off her motorcycle. He failed to stop but was subsequently charged with failing to stop after a collision. During the trial at Birmingham Magistrates' court he produced witnesses whose evidence was disbelieved by the magistrates who convicted him and imposed a fine and a six month driving ban.

"He then appealed to the Crown Court against this conviction and went to increasingly extreme lengths to avoid the inconvenience the driving ban and fine would cause him.

"Together with others acting on his behalf, he fraudulently obtained personal details, including the home address of Mrs Butterwick and her husband. He then used that information to ensure that the witness did not receive notification of the appeal hearing on 28 April 2011. It was only as the result of a vigilant police officer, who became suspicious when the witness failed to attend, that the matter was adjourned for enquiries to be carried out into whether there had been an attempt to pervert the course of justice. If the officer had not acted as she did then in all likelihood Mohammed Kasir's plan would have worked and his appeal against conviction would have been upheld.

"Two days later, he, or someone acting on his orders, went to Mr and Mrs Butterwick's home address at five o'clock in the morning and poured petrol through the letter box and set it alight causing a serious fire. At that time, Mr and Mrs Butterwick, four other adults and a six-month old baby boy were asleep in the house. It was through sheer chance that the baby's mother, had got up to use the bathroom as the fire began to take hold and was able to alert the sleeping occupants to what was happening. All of them escaped alive from the flames, four of them through the first floor windows, but all suffered some degree of injury. The family dog was however killed.

"Two of the occupants received serious burns that led to months of hospital treatment and physical and mental scars that will live with them for the rest of their lives.

"Throughout this disturbing sequence of events, Mohammed Kasir has shown no trace of remorse for his actions or any concern for the victims of the fire.

"It is thanks to the hard work of the CPS, West Midlands Police and prosecution counsel that justice has now been served. I hope that those so grievously affected by this man's actions can now move on and begin to recover from the pain and distress he has inflicted."