Video: Blackburn family jailed for almost 30 years over lesbian love attack

Lancashire Telegraph: A still from The CCTV footage shies the attack A still from The CCTV footage shies the attack

A FAMILY were caught on CCTV as they repeatedly punched and kicked their sister's lesbian lover and tried to kidnap her.

Witnesses described hearing members of the family saying 'Get her in, get her in, you have messed with the wrong Muslims, we are going to kill you', as attempts were made to bundle Sarah Jane Harrison into a car, Preston Crown Court heard.

The 28-year-old victim was left permanently scarred by the attack, which involved her being pulled by the hair and having her bag snatched from her hands.

The five sisters and one brother claimed they were only trying to find out where their sister Nazma Ditta was because they were worried about her.

But the court was told how Miss Ditta's family had planned a traditional, arranged marriage for her and had already suggested a suitor.

They were sentenced yesterday to almost 30 years in total.
Prosecuting, Richard Haworth, said the family had conspired to meet Miss Harrison after work, with Atfah and Ghazala Ditta, both of Lambert Street, Blackburn, and Nighat Morris, of Banker Street, Bolton, attempting to force the victim into their car as she walked along Victoria Street after finishing a shift.

Their brother Tahmoor, 26, branded a bradawl, a tool used to punch holes in materials, to prevent Miss Harrison's friend, Shah Ahmed, who was walking with her, trying to stop the violence.

Mr Haworth said: "The three sisters simultaneously attacked and attempted to physically bundle Miss Harrison into the back of the car.
"She was punched, kicked and her hair gripped and pulled repeatedly.

"The attack on Miss Harrison was a brutal, sustained and pre-planned action, with Tahmoor attending with a weapon to keep Shah at bay."

The court was told that Ghazala, 31, and Atfah, 32, had been waiting in the car for nearly an hour before the assault, with Tahmoor and their other sister Nighat, 39, waiting outside USC, where Miss Harrison worked, to try to intercept her in the town.

Judge Graham Knowles heard how the victim had been left with a 'permanent reminder' of the day.
In a victim impact statement read out to the court, she said: "I had visions of going to work and someone throwing acid in my face.

"I just want to be happy in my life and career.”
Miss Harrison and Miss Ditta are still in a relationship.
Messages sent via Whatsapp involving Tosif Ditta, 35, of Pringle Street, and Nayyar Mehmood, 39, of Queen's Park Road, both Blackburn, were also read out to the court. The crown said they proved the family members conspired together.

Barristers acting on behalf of the defendants said the attack had not been racially aggravated or motivated by the victim's sexual orientation.

But Judge Knowles told those in the dock: "It was your outrage that your sister had formed a same sex relationship that was behind this attack.

"I am entirely sure that the offences were motivated by your anger that a white, non-Muslim woman and your sister were in a relationship.

"This case was about power and control. It is about striking fear into the heart in order to control not just the body, but also the will.

"There must be a clear message that what each of you did and what all of you planned cannot be tolerated."
Tamoor Ditta, of Lambeth Street, Blackburn, was jailed for six years for conspiracy to commit actual bodily harm, attempted kidnap, robbery, possession of an offensive weapon and battery.

Ghazala Ditta, Atfah Ditta and Morris were sentenced to five years, four months for conspiracy to commit actual bodily harm, attempted kidnap and robbery.

Tosif Ditta and Mehmood were both given three years, six months for conspiracy to commit actual bodily harm.

Speaking after the hearing, Det Sgt Mark Haworth-Oates said: "I am pleased for the victim that the sentences that have been passed down are significant and send a message out to the wider community that these kind of offences are not going to be tolerated.

“Lancashire Constabulary will not tolerate acts of honour based violence."

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