Jailed for witness intimidation

Naeem Shazad
Naeem Shazad

A Nelson man who intimidated a witness involved in an assault case has been jailed for 18 months.

A jury found Naeem Shazad (38), of Dalton Street, guilty of the intimidation when he and his brother Raheel Arif were tried over an incident that arose out of a neighbour vendetta.

Arif was acquitted of causing actual bodily harm to Kevin Hankey because there was doubt over his identification.

Mr Hugh Edwards (prosecuting) said it was never alleged that Shazad played any part in an assault, however he did become involved later on, knowing that a complaint had been made to the police.

Mr Edwards said Shazad shouted at Mr Hankey’s brother, Keith, and a mutual friend, David Geddes, when they were at cash machine at Morrisons. Because he could not make a withdrawal, Mr Hankey rang his brother and arranged to go round to his house to borrow some cash.

The men were in the car in Dalton Street, where Kevin Hankey was outside his house, when Shazad approached them and made threats saying: “All three of you are dead. You are going to get it.”

Mr Edwards said: “It was made clear that the jury thought what was said would intimidated Kevin Hankey and that Kevin Hankey was assisting in the investigation of an offence or was a witness.”

Shazad maintained throughout the trial that he had never made threats.

Passing sentence, Mr Recorder Kevin Talbot said Shazad had previous convictions for robbery and battery, and must have been well acquainted with the process of law.

“In my judgement it was serious,” said Recorder Talbot. “There can be no alternative other than a custodial sentence.”