Self-proclaimed preacher who brutally attacked a fast food boss leaving him with severe brain damage after being offended by his staff member’s ‘boobs hanging out’ is jailed for eight years
- Hamdi Braiek, 34, was offended by a woman working at Mix Grill 91 in Maidstone
- CCTV showed Mukhtar Hussain confronting Braiek outside the fast-food outlet
- Mr Hussain, 35, suffered a bleed on his brain in the attack on May 30 last year
A self-proclaimed preacher who attacked a takeaway boss and left him with severe brain damage after complaining about an ‘inappropriately dressed’ female member of staff has today been jailed for more than eight years.
Hamdi Braiek was offended that a woman working at Mukhtar Hussain’s business Mix Grill 91 in Maidstone, Kent, ‘had her boobs hanging out in his face’ and told her she should cover-up.
Just a few hours earlier he had punched another woman in a shopping mall in an unrelated transphobic attack, a court heard.
CCTV showed Mr Hussain confronting Braiek, 34, outside the fast-food outlet about his attitude and insulting behaviour to his employee before being followed to a nearby park where he was violently assaulted.
A jury heard that having punched and chased 35-year-old Mr Hussain, Braiek then rugby-tackled him to the ground and put him in a choke-hold for up to 60 seconds until his body went floppy and collapsed unconscious.
Hamdi Braiek (above) was offended that a woman working at Mukhtar Hussain’s business Mix Grill 91 in Maidstone, Kent, ‘had her boobs hanging out in his face’ and told her she should cover-up
Witnesses were said to have watched in horror as Braiek then repeatedly kicked and stamped on his head ‘with ferocity’ as he lay motionless on the ground.
Mr Hussain suffered a bleed on his brain in the attack on May 30 last year and remained an in-patient at a neurological rehabilitation centre in Blackheath, south east London, for a year, Maidstone Crown Court was told.
Prosecutor Daniel Stevenson said CCTV showed Braiek ‘lining up Mr Hussain’s head like a rugby player lines up a rugby ball and kicking him square in the head’ to deliver his final blow.
He added that Mr Hussain may have died that night but for the intervention of two Good Samaritans in a pub opposite shouting out and coming to his aid before emergency services arrived and he was airlifted to hospital.
Jailing him for eight years and three months, Judge Julian Smith said the impact on Mr Hussain, a once ‘hearty and healthy man’ who now struggles to even read and write, was ‘significant, profound and devastating’.
‘This was a wholly, one-sided confrontation with the defendant acting as the aggressor throughout. Having delivered the first, second and third blow, he then pursued Mr Hussain with real intention and determination to capture him,’ added the judge.
Just a few hours earlier he had punched another woman in a shopping mall in an unrelated transphobic attack, a court heard
‘This was not a struggle between two fighting men. Mr Hussain was overwhelmed and restrained and offered no resistance of any kind.
‘It was at the point that he was unconscious that the worst of his injuries were caused.
‘His wife speaks of her devastation and her family’s that a hearty, healthy man was reduced in the way Mr Hussain has been. It has had the profoundest of possible impacts upon him.’
Braiek, an Uber Eats delivery driver who did national service in Tunisia and has no previous convictions, will have to serve two-thirds of his jail term before he can be considered for parole.
The court heard he had gone to Mix Grill 91 in Week Street at about 6.30pm to buy a burger for a homeless person.
However, he complained that the female staff member’s state of dress offended him and was unprofessional, the court heard.
CCTV showed Mr Hussain confronting Braiek, 34, outside the fast-food outlet (pictured) about his attitude and insulting behaviour to his employee
‘He gave her words of advice because he was unhappy with the way that she was dressed,’ said Mr Stevenson to the jury.
‘You may think that the way in which a member of staff working in a hot takeaway restaurant chose to dress was absolutely none of his business.’
CCTV showed the two men outside the takeaway at about 7pm and then Mr Hussain gesturing to Braiek to follow him to Brenchley Gardens.
But Mr Stevenson said while the takeaway boss’s actions may have been ‘poorly-judged’, once in the park it was ‘very much a one-sided incident’.
Braiek fled the scene but told police after his arrest that he had chased Mr Hussain across the grass to confront him ‘because he had no faith’ and was ‘not a proper Muslim’.
Paul Jackson, defending, said it was accepted Braiek kicked and stamped on Mr Hussain, but told the court that he had initially acted in self-defence and feared the victim had a knife.
CCTV showed the two men outside the takeaway at about 7pm and then Mr Hussain gesturing to Braiek to follow him to Brenchley Gardens (above)
Braiek fled the scene but told police after his arrest that he had chased Mr Hussain across the grass to confront him ‘because he had no faith’ and was ‘not a proper Muslim’
But Mr Stevenson said no weapon was found.
Of Mr Hussain’s life-changing injury, the prosecutor added: ‘He remains profoundly cognitively impaired. He suffers from confusion and confabulation and does not have the capacity to give an account or to give evidence.
‘He has made considerable progress but it is clear he received a traumatic brain injury which has had a serious cognitive impact on him, in particular in relation to his memory and his ability to conduct more complex tasks around his self-care and management.’
Mr Stevenson told the court that Braiek’s ‘unjustified’ violence that day ‘seemed to relate to his perception that his religious beliefs were being insulted by the conduct of others’.
Just three hours before attacking Mr Hussain, Braiek had assaulted a transgender woman and her friend in the nearby Fremlin Walk shopping mall.
‘The defendant took exception to her appearance and questioned whether she was a woman and whether her trans-identity was consistent with a belief in God, Jesus or Mohammed,’ said the prosecutor.
Mr Hussain suffered a bleed on his brain in the attack on May 30 last year and remained an in-patient at a neurological rehabilitation centre in Blackheath, south east London, for a year, Maidstone Crown Court (pictured) was told
‘Whatever his personal views were, he had no business expressing them to her.’
But when she responded ‘robustly and provocatively to his transphobic questioning’, said Mr Stevenson, Braiek reacted by swinging punches to her face and attacking her friend.
Fortunately, neither were seriously injured but Braiek told police he had tried to warn them about judgement day, only to be insulted about his beliefs.
Braiek, of Maidstone, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Mr Hussain and two offences of common assault.
He had denied a more serious charge of attempted murder and was cleared by the jury at his trial in December.
The court heard Braiek was on police bail at the time of the offences on May 30 having been charged in respect of punching his landlord in the street just two days earlier.
That matter is yet to be dealt with by magistrates.
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