A FATHER racially abused school staff and assaulted a headteacher after two Muslim pupils were banned from lessons for refusing to shave off their beards.

Mohammad Liaqat took it upon himself to vent his anger at staff as children were leaving Mount Carmel RC High School, Accrington.

The 34-year-old was found guilty of racially-aggravated behaviour and assault by beating following a three-day trial at Burnley Crown Court.


Liaqat was remanded into custody and will be sentenced in June.

The Catholic school, which employs workers from across East Lancashire, said the ruling on beards was part of the school’s dress code, but the 14-year-olds wanted to keep their facial hair for religious reasons.

Liaqat, who has a child at the Wordsworth Road school, but was not directly affected by the case, became so angry that he launched a ‘racist tirade’ towards white members of staff, police said.

After being arrested, the defendant, of Richmond Avenue, Accrington, was told to keep away from the school and instead went to St Oswald’s RC Primary School, where another of his children is taught, and began using inappropriate language again.

When the headteacher Jeff Brown asked him to move on, Liaqat shoulder barged into him, a court heard.

After the trial, Xavier Bowers, headteacher at Mount Carmel said: “We are pleased that justice has been done in this instance.

“My staff were simply doing their job at the time, supervising our children leaving school and making sure they were safe.

“Without provocation, they were verbally assaulted an abused in front of the children and parents.”

Mr Bowers said the school worked hard to maintain community cohesion.

He added: “We always try to work towards good relationships with our families.

“This was an unfortunate incident, but we can now draw a line under it and move on.

“We are largely a happy school and we have good relationships with our local community.”

After being taught in isolation for breaking the school rules, Mount Carmel governors later decided that as long as boys had started a Hafiz programme of study at their mosque, they would be allowed to grow a beard as a sign of their faith.

Mr Brown, from St Oswald’s, added: “I am glad this matter has now been concluded and I am looking forward to getting back to concentrating on school life.”

PC Dave Hall, from the hate crime and cohesion unit, said: “Ultimately, the issue at Mount Carmel was amicably resolved, but Liaqat decided to take it upon himself to stage his own personal protest.

“He racially abused several of the school staff and he kept referring to Mount Carmel as a racist school. He went on a racist tirade towards the white members of staff.

“He made it quite clear he was deeply upset.

“After being arrested, he was released on bail. He decided to vent his fury o St Oswald’s Primary.

“He had reason to be there but not to behave in the way he did.

“Liaqat was causing problems, which led to the headteacher asking him to leave the premises. He reacted by racially abusing staff there and assaulting the head.

“What he did was completely unacceptable. Whatever his motives, we cannot accept this kind of behaviour.”