A 41-year-old garage owner threatened to burn his next door neighbour’s house down after he believed their cat had attacked one of his beloved racing pigeons, a court heard.
Behzad Shuwani used racist language against his neighbours in Gloucester during his tirade of abuse.
Judge Michael Harington heard from prosecutor, Robert Morgan-Jones, that there had been ‘historic tensions’ between Shuwani and his neighbours in Jersey Road before the incident on February 8 this year.
Shuwani was subject to a suspended jail term at the time of this incident, the prosecutor explained.
He had been sentenced in September last year for running what was described by the judge as a ‘cannabis factory’ at his car workshop on Jersey Road.
Shuwani pleaded guilty to racially aggravated public order and simple public order offences during the incident in February.
He also admitted that by committing those offences he was in breach of the earlier suspended sentence imposed for drug cultivation at his business.
Gloucester Crown Court heard that the victim, 70-year-old Abdulkadir Susiwala, was at his home when he heard noises outside at about 10.30am.
When he looked out of the first floor window of his property he could see Shuwani next door with a can of paint thinners shouting about Mr Susiwala’s cat attacking one of his racing pigeons.
The court heard Shuwani said: “I am going to burn all of you, and your house, and your cat!”
The police were called, and they could hear shouting in the background of the 999 call, the prosecutor said.
When they arrived Shuwani was ‘immediately aggressive’, and shouted towards racist language towards Mr Susiwala’s home.
Mr Morgan-Jones said the thinners were seized from the property and Shuwani had a lighter on his person when searched.
The court heard a victim statement from Mr Susiwala, who said he believed Shuwani would carry out his threats.
The family said they are worried about going outside their property, and are concerned about any further future problems with Shuwani, who arrived in the UK in 1997 from the Kurdish region of Iraq.
Representing Shuwani, Mark Sharman described it as ‘an unfortunate situation’.
“They do not get on. They do not see eye to eye,” the barrister said.
However he accepted “his words and behaviour were utterly inappropriate”.
Mr Sharman argued this was the first incident despite tensions over the last five years, and there had been no repeat.
“The defendant believed the complainant’s cat had attacked one of his pigeons,” Mr Sharman said.
“He owns approximately 100 racing pigeons. That is very important to him. That reaction though, was deeply inappropriate.”
“For obvious reasons the [racist] language he used was not acceptable,” Mr Sharman told the judge.
Mr Sharman argued it was a “spur of the moment reaction to something that had been bubbling under for some time”.
“I make it clear, I lay no blame at the door of the complainant,” Mr Sharman said, and urged the judge to consider a further suspended sentence.
The judge said: “I am persuaded it would be unjust to activate the suspended sentence you are subject to.
“The old offence was planned, and this was heat of the moment, and entirely different.”
Shuwani was given 15 months jail suspended for two years and ordered to attend 20 rehabilitation activity sessions and complete 120 hours of unpaid work for the benefit of the community.
A restraining order to protect Mr Susiwala and his family was imposed for five years.
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