A MAN who left an ex-Army reserve soldier deaf in one ear and unable to continue working has been jailed for more than a year.

At the sentencing in Preston, it was heard that Imran Khan, 29, punched Imran Hussain once in his head during a disagreement outside a Shisha lounge in Blackburn in March 2017.

In January, a trial took place to establish whether Khan’s motivation for the attack was Mr Hussain’s Army membership. During the trial, it was heard that the two men had been involved in a prior altercation when Khan approached Mr Hussain in Blackburn, and told him: “What you are doing is wrong, killing Muslims”.

Following this, Mr Hussain moved away from the area over fears for his safety, and quit the Army, taking up employment as an auditory engineer.

During sentencing, the court heard how the consequences of the attack on Mr Hussain had been severe, as he suffered a broken jaw, dental and psychological problems, and deafness in one ear.

Reading out a victim statement from Mr Hussain, Judge Simon Newell, said: “Due to my severe deafness I have had to step down from a couple of job roles. Part of my role was to calibrate machinery which involves listening. Due to these hearing deficiencies I am no longer able to continue in this field of work and cannot accept any line of auditory work whatsoever.”

Mitigating, defence barrister Joseph Hart said that since the attack, Khan had been involved in voluntary work and was working towards building social cohesions within the community, and appealed for leniency in sentencing.

Judge Newell said despite there only being a single blow, it was substantial, and it was Mr Hussain’s belief the attack happened because of his previous membership of the Army.

Mr Newell said: “You showed disdain for him and the role he had. He never took up a permanent role in the Army and moved away from the area at the end of 2016. The fact he had been a reserve was a positive fact of the dislike and a major factor of the attack at the Dahna Lounge.

“I found you to be a dishonest witness and you were manipulating matters to your own advantage when you gave evidence. I cannot agree with the defence mitigation as the hostility to Mr Hussain does not assist with any sort of community integration and it seems to me you had expressed views and followed up on those views.”

He took into account he had no previous convictions and had pleaded guilty.

Khan, of Whalley Old Road, Blackburn, was sentenced to 14 months in prison and given a restraining order preventing him from contacting Mr Hussain for two years.

Family members Shabaz Khan, 26, and Jabbar Khan, 29, also of Whalley Old Road, were sentenced along with Khan.

At the trial in January they had both admitted using threatening behaviour as part of the same incident, when they verbally provoked and abused Mr Hussain and his friends in the Dahna Lounge.

Judge Newell ordered them to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.