Teen thug beat grandad with plank of wood then boasted about it on Facebook

Bradford Crown Court
Bradford Crown Court

A 16-year-old youth battered a vulnerable grandfather with a piece of wood in a Halifax street and then bragged about it on Facebook, a court heard.

Teenager Hamza Iqbal, who is still only 17, can be named despite being a juvenile after Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said he should be identified due to the seriousness of the attack.

Iqbal’s victim Steven Prince, who is understood to be in his 50s, thought he had been left for dead after he was hit three times over the head during the night-time confrontation in the Savile Park area in April.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Iqbal, who had been a cannabis user since the age of 11, was with other males who had been drinking at the home of Mr Prince’s daughter Natalie.

Prosecutor Claire Larton said the complainant had gone to the house to see his grandchildren but, after he left with his partner, Iqbal and another male followed them.

Iqbal, who had no previous convictions, blocked Mr Prince’s path and demanded his money.

Miss Larton said the complainant only had his bus fare and after he refused to hand it over Iqbal hit him twice on the head with a large piece of wood.

Mr Prince’s partner was verbally abused and after she was told to run Iqbal again hit his victim on the back of the head with the wood.

The injured complainant sought help by knocking on house doors and eventually Iqbal and the other male ran away.

The court heard that Mr Prince was bleeding profusely when police arrived on the scene and he later had 20 stitches in cuts to his head.

In his victim impact statement Mr Prince described the devastating effect of the attack which had resulted in him losing his confidence completely and suffering panic attacks, sleeplessness and depression.

Miss Larton said the victim felt as if he had been left for dead by the defendant and was now afraid to go out in the dark.

“He hasn’t been able to see his grandchildren and has not been able to walk his dog,” she added.

Mr Prince had to take time off work and his relationship had subsequently broken down.

Iqbal, of Richmond Road, Halifax, was originally charged with attempted robbery, but he later pleaded guilty to an offence of unlawful wounding.

Judge Durham Hall highlighted the fact that Iqbal had bragged on Facebook about being “the guy who put Natalie’s dad in hospital”.

“You have a very sinister and dark part to your character,” the judge told him.

“What is also clear is that at the time you were drinking, addicted to cannabis and you were leading a life wholly different from that within the bosom of your family.”

The judge said Iqbal appeared to be a “devious and manipulative” individual and added: “I have to confront the need in your case to pass a serious, effective and deterrent sentence and punish you in no uncertain terms.”

Barrister Bob Shastry, for Iqbal, submitted that the judge could consider a non-custodial option which would include intensive supervision, a curfew and attendance on courses to deal with substance misuse and thinking skills.

But Judge Durham Hall sentenced Iqbal to the maximum two-year detention and training order which he said would provide education and training as well as effective supervision and monitoring following his release.