THREE takeaway workers ‘left for dead’ a man they thought had been disrespecting them, a jury was told.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Asif Hussain, 39, was left unconscious and with serious injuries after Brothers Mohammed Nawaz, 44, Mohammed Javed, 41, along with Mohammed Arfan, 36, were said to have leapt from a car and set about him in the middle of Colne Road, Brierfield.

The hearing was told how Mr Hussain suffered a fractured skull, extensive lacerations, severe bruising to his arms, legs and torso, a broken leg, puncture wounds and slash wounds to his legs. He was said to have been battered repeatedly with a hammer, struck with a hockey stick and knifed.

The incident was said to have been motivated by a bid to save face in the community.

The prosecution allege the defendants thought they could dish out punishment so severe Mr Hussain would be far too intimidated to go to the police.

But, Mr Hussain, who is now on crutches and has been left with difficulties in day to day life due to head injuries, did tell the police what happened to him and yesterday he told the jury: “I was brutally assaulted and I thought I was going to die.”

Nawaz, of Hardy Avenue, Arfan, of Manchester Road, both Nelson, and Javed, of Burnley Road, Brierfield, all deny causing grievous body harm with intent.

Joe Boyd, prosecuting, told the court Arfan and Nawaz were brothers and were associated with Dixie Chicken takeaways in Nelson and Brierfield. Javed worked at the Nelson restaurant at the time.

Mr Hussain had had difficulties with the defendants, particularly the brothers, leading up to the incident in June 20 last year and in the 10 days before, there was an escalating dispute. The defendants clearly decided the alleged victim and two people he hung around with were becoming disrespectful towards them and they couldn't allow it to happen. They attacked Mr Hussain to punish him.

Mr Boyd said: “The defendants were clearly of the view that they were going to be able to intimidate him so much that he wasn't going to go to the police."

Mr Boyd said some time after 8pm, Mr Hussain was going to the Bodies in Motion gym. The defendants found out and lay in wait for him. As he got to the door, three men got out of a car at speed and caught and attacked him as he ran to the middle of the road. The vehicle then drove off as Mr Hussain was lying unconscious on the ground.

The prosecutor said Mr Hussain later picked out Nawaz, Arfan and Javed on an identity parade. A witness to the attack told police he saw a man hitting Mr Hussain with what looked like a hockey stick and he described it as like hacking at a piece of wood.

A woman motorist claimed she saw a man repeatedly striking a man on the ground with a sledge hammer, with all his bodily power, as if he was trying to kill him. She said a second man had what looked like a baseball bat and was hitting the man on the ground and a third man was making stabbing gestures.

Mr Boyd said an off-duty police officer saw all three men and tried to follow them after they ran to their car. Ten days later, the officer was in Burnley police station, when Arfan happened to be there, with his solicitor, to be involved in the identification procedure.

He said: “Quite by chance, he was in the same room and immediately recognised Mohammed Arfan as one of the three attackers.”

Mr Boyd said the defendants were all interviewed by the police and made no comment.