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Riots plea father sobs in court

A bereaved father who won national acclaim for his impassioned appeal for calm after his son was killed in last summer's riots has broken down in tears as he recounted the ordeal in court.

Tariq Jahan sobbed and held his head in his hands as he gave evidence to a jury at Birmingham Crown Court, where he is on trial charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent and inflicting grievous bodily harm in a roadside altercation last July.

He is accused of grabbing 34-year-old Sajjad Ali by the throat before punching him to the ground and kicking him.

Mr Ali suffered a fractured jaw in the incident, which happened outside his workplace in Factory Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, at around 6pm on July 6.

Jahan, whose 21-year-old son died as riots swept across the country last August, admitted hitting Mr Ali in the face but told the court he acted in self defence after Mr Ali head butted him, and denies the charge against him.

He said he pulled over and got out of his car to speak to Mr Ali after the pair got into an argument over Jahan sounding his car horn at a van blocking his path. Mr Ali had been standing on the roadside speaking to the driver of the van.

Jahan's son Haroon and his friends - brothers Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31 - were struck by a car in the early hours of August 10 last year during disorder in the Winson Green area of Birmingham.

They were pronounced dead in hospital and hailed as heroes who died protecting homes and shops from looters.

Jahan, of Winson Street, Winson Green, later made a heartfelt plea to crowds of youths gathered outside his home to end the disorder and "go home".

His personal call for calm was credited with helping to bring an end to the riots.

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