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2012-12-04 18:05

SLAP ON THE WRIST: Usman Yasin's initial prison term for hitting and old woman has been revoked in exchange for community service, a two-week driving ban and compensation.

LONDON, England - Magistrates in the UK jailed Usman Yasin for 16 weeks for hitting an 81-year-old woman but an appeal judge at Stafford Crown Court has changed his punishment.

Instead, the 30-year-old father of two was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid community work, banned from driving and ordered to pay the equivalent of R1500 compensation to the 81-year-old woman driver he assaulted in a road-rage attack.

Pensioner Patricia Pearson, on her way to visit her husband in his care home, was left with deep cuts on her head and face after the aggressive driver  overtook and blocked the road before smacking her in the face and punching her in the head and mouth.


At the trial the court heard how Yasin became increasingly frustrated as he travelled behind Pearson, maintaining that she had been driving at no more than 8km/h.

Solicitor Nick Burn said at his appeal hearing: "The defendant came up behind Pearson, there was a combination of loud revving and sounding of the horn, clearly impatience on behalf of the defendant."

According to the UK's Daily Mail, Yasin eventually overtook and stopped in front of Pearson’s car, causing her to brake. She got out, went up to Yasin’s Peugeot and "exchanged words".

She put her hand up to his face in a gentle push but Yasin reacted by lashing out with his hand and when passer-by David Smith intervened Yasin said to him:
 “The bitch hit me."


Rebecca Wade, for Yasin, said that when the incident happened he had just been to visit his mother who was in hospital with breast cancer and as a result of this was “clearly irritated”. She went on to claim that Yasin had never been in trouble and the incident was wholly out of character.

“He has been vilified within the community and while you would expect a significant level of outrage, this has gone beyond, the case has been all over the national press.”

Wade also explained that Yasin's appeal was made on the grounds that, if he went to jail, he would lose his job in a fast-food restaurant because the initial sentence involved imprisonment. According to the Daily Mail, Yasin had told the magistrates that he was very remorseful.  “She’s the same age as my grandma If I had taken a second to think and had just driven on I wouldn’t be here today.”


Pearson was not at all satisfied with the court’s decision:  “This incident has left me feeling scared and vulnerable. I have always been a strong person but I was terrified. There was no need for him to do this to me or use the language that he did. I know he may say I shouldn’t have put my hand up to his face but that was only to stop him using the language he did."

She went on to add that Yasin was "not a human being" and added:

"It’s (the appeal decision) a farce, an absolute farce - a waste of people’s money. My time was wasted and he’s now able to appeal. This country’s law is an ass. He should have been given more, (faced imprisonment) at least three months in total.”

Anybody have thoughts about this? Tell us about it in the Readers' Comments section below - what if it were YOUR granny?


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