Muslim gang attacked strangers because they were white 'non-Muslims' in city centre rampage
Amin Mohmed, Mohammed Patel and Faruq Patel, all from Bolton , targeted three unknown men before two of them set upon Gary Bohanna when he revealed he was Christian.
Faruq, 19, then filmed Mohmed, 24, punching Paul Lynch as his girlfriend tried to protect him.
One witness feared that the trio might be ISIS terrorists - counter-terrorism officers then raided the homes of the three men in Bolton.
The judge, Recorder Louise Brandon, called the attacks in Liverpool city centre "a disgraceful and sustained campaign of violence carried out on the streets of this city”.
The Echo reported how the court was told fellow-Muslim Edris Nosrati spotted two of the gang attacking a man in Bold Street at around 3.30am on March 20 last year.
At Liverpool Crown Court, prosecutor Paul Treble said: “He was concerned because one of them seemed to be using racist language, talking about Muslims and Christians.
“One of them came up to Mr Nosrati and said ‘are you a Muslim?’ Mr Nosrati said he was, but the man said ‘well, what’s the Muslim word?’”
He said Mr Nosrati replied with a “well-known” Arabic phrase: “There is only one God, and Muhammad is a messenger.”
Mr Treble said: “He said it’s a phrase often linked with ISIS.
“He was concerned as to their exact intent and that they might be associated in some way to an extremist organisation.”
Mr Nosrati was told “you can go”, but when he tried to stop them punching another man, one replied: “It’s none of your business.”
He followed the gang to Renshaw Street, where Mr Bohanna was asked: “What are you?”
The victim was confused but when one of them said “I’m a Muslim, what are you?” he answered “I’m a Christian”.
The attacker shouted “Why aren’t you a Muslim?” before punching him twice, breaking his glasses and causing a 2cm cut above his left eye.
The gang then encountered Mr Lynch, a Labour councillor in St Helens, and his girlfriend Jill Newton.
Footage taken by Faruq captured Mohmed punch Mr Lynch with a “sickening blow” that could be “seen and heard”.
No racist comments were used, but Liverpool John Moores University student Faruq could be heard laughing as the victim fell. Faruq was not convicted of a racial or religious motive.
Mr Nosrati called police but Faruq fled, so the witness chased and caught him.
The teenager punched Mr Nosrati and struck him in the eye with his phone, but the hero held on.
Mr Bohanna and Mr Lynch - who suffered bruising and bleeding to his eyes - were taken to hospital.
Mohmed made no comment to police, but later claimed he could not remember anything because he was so drunk.
Mohammed, 20, initially denied the assaults and suggested they had been racially abused by other men.
However, he confessed to “targeting people because they were white and non-Muslim”.
Faruq told officers people called him and his friends a “dirty P***” and they retaliated.
He admitted filming “because he thought it was funny” and described it “as a laugh”.
Mohmed, of Perendale Rise, Bolton, and Mohammed, of Eastbank Street, Bolton, admitted racially or religiously aggravated assault causing actual bodily harm.
The pair, along with Faruq, of Crumpsall Street, Bolton, also admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and affray.
Martine Snowdon, defending Mohammed, said her “deeply remorseful” client was “terrified” of being locked up.
The university expelled him but he had re-enrolled at Salford University and asked for “mercy” to continue his studies.
Andrew Costello, defending Faruq, said his “ashamed” client was “very drunk” but maintained he did not hit anyone or use racial abuse.
However, he conceded the “apologetic” accountancy student “tried to lie his way out of it”.
Mohmed has previous convictions for criminal damage and battery, relating to a family row last November.
Sarah Johnston, defending Mohmed, said it appeared the group were racially abused but that was not an excuse.
She said: “He has brought not only shame and embarrassment but also distress to his family.
“The Counter Terrorism Unit became involved in the investigation and the defendants’ family homes were turned upside down by the police.”
Recorder Brandon said the group may have suffered racist abuse, but targeted innocent men in “violent and senseless attacks”.
She said Mohmed and Mohammed’s punching and kicking of Mr Bohanna was aggravated by “hostility based on his religion”.
The judge said: “References to the fact he was not a Muslim was made and you appeared to justify your actions because of certain beliefs you held.”
Recorder Brandon said after the joint enterprise attack on Mr Lynch, “frightened” Miss Newton “had no idea what you were going to do next”.
She said Mohammed “confirmed those targeted that night were targeted because they were white and non-Muslim.”
Mohmed cried as he was jailed for 42 weeks. Mohammed and Faruq Patel received 42 and 18 weeks respectively in a young offenders institution.
The Liverpool Echo has the same story almost word for word - except for this. "Mohmed cried as he was jailed for 42 weeks."
NWN: Straight away they played the " we were racially insulted" card. Far too much of this going on and derisory sentences yet again. We wonder if the Labour Councillor from St Helens will have a change of heart now ? Not likely. St. Helens is one of those areas they could stand Ian Brady's dead body up for Labour, and they would still get in with a huge majority.