“He also threatened to kill his son and burn him"
Tahmin Chowdhury, aged 28, of Aberdeen, Scotland, was jailed for two years for terrorising a restaurant owner and his son.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard that he carried out a campaign of intimidation that lasted for four months.
It stemmed from a relationship with a childhood friend that had become “fractious” due to a money dispute.
Fiscal depute Colin Neilson said Chowdhury’s relationship with childhood friend Mohammed Ullah had broken down after he claimed to have loaned him £3,000, which Mr Ullah denied.
He said: “Between October 28, 2019, and February 17, 2020, the accused sent Mr Ullah approximately 160 texts.
“The majority of the messages were offensive and threatening in nature and included ‘I’m going to knife you’, ‘I will get you so hard you’ll be licking my trainers’, and ‘I will batter your dad’.”
The messages also contained numerous racial and sexual slurs.
Mr Neilson continued: “On Monday, February 17, 2020, at 6:07 pm, the complainer received a phone call from the accused, during which he demanded money from the complainer, uttered offensive and racially abusive remarks and uttered threats to burn the complainer.
“The phone call made the complainer feel intimidated.”
Chowdhury then started bombarding Mr Ullah’s father, Mohammed Sheik, making threatening calls to his restaurant, the Namza Tandoori, in Ellon.
Mr Neilson said: “Throughout the evenings of Friday and Saturday, December 6 and 7, 2019, Mr Sheik was working in his restaurant in Ellon.
“Over the course of the two evenings, he received approximately 40 phone calls from a male, now known to be the accused, who threatened to burn down the restaurants and the complainer’s car.
“The complainer felt threatened by these phone calls and he also felt they had a detrimental impact on his business in that the calls took up the phone line much of the time, thereby preventing customers making bookings and placing orders.”
When the restaurant owner was working in the Aberdeen Namza Tandoori, Chowdhury again made threatening calls.
Mr Neilson said: “During the evening of Monday, February 17, 2020, Mr Sheik was working in his restaurant on Bridge Street.
“At approximately 6:15 pm he received a telephone call from a male, now known to be the accused, during which the accused demanded £3,000, failing which he would burn down the complainer’s restaurants and home.
“He also threatened to kill his son and burn him and stated that two people would come to collect the money.
“Mr Sheik’s son was also present and recorded the call, which he later gave to the police.
“At approximately 7:30 pm, two unknown men entered the restaurant and demanded £3,000.
“The complainer contacted the police and, having been told by the son that they were not getting the money, the men left.
“The complainer felt very threatened by this incident.”
On February 18, 2020, Chowdhury was arrested but began shouting and swearing at officers.
He made comments including “take your uniform off and fight me”, and “I’ll knock you out with three hits”.
At the police station, he continued to verbally abuse officers.
He told one female officer she was “less than a dog” and made sexual comments, adding:
“Look at your ugly face.”
He also made homophobic and racial comments.
Chowdhury went on to tell officers he would have sex with their parents, telling one he would have sex with his “dead mother”.
He added: “I’m going to pollute your population.”
On July 3, 2020, Chowdhury made several abusive phone calls to Mr Ullah.
He made threats towards him and his family, including to “rape” his father, as well as racial and homophobic remarks.
Chowdhury was arrested again.
He pleaded guilty to four charges of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, and one of attempted extortion.
Ian Woodward-Nutt, defending, said his client had previously agreed to lend his friend £3,000.
He said: “At that stage, he was setting up a barbershop and needed a loan to buy barber’s chairs.
“The informal agreement was the sum should be paid back within a few weeks.
“Thereafter, despite subsequent and repeated requests for repayment, the complainer avoided, rebuffed and ignored him and refused to relay the loan and simply denied a loan had ever taken place.
“Mr Chowdhury became extremely upset about the situation.
“The situation got to the stage where Mr Chowdhury has to accept he completely lost control, such was his anger towards his former friend.
“Mr Chowdhury is utterly horrified to hear, in the cold light of day, the terms he used in committing the offences. He accepts nothing can excuse these types of comments.
“He tells me the threats made were hollow threats.
“He exhibits genuine remorse and indeed he is disgusted by his own behaviour.”
Mr Woodward-Nutt added that the men that attended the restaurant had gone there because Chowdhury thought Mr Ullah had agreed to pay.
Sheriff William Summers said:
“You recognise you appear to be remorseful and understand how serious the offences are, but I cannot ignore the gravity of these offences.
“You carried out a campaign to extort money from a father and son who were known to you.
“The language you used towards the police was vile and shocking.
“These offences are too serious to be dealt with by a community sentence.”
The Evening Express reported that Chowdhury was jailed for 24 months.
After sentencing, the restaurant owner said: “I’m quite happy with that. It was really scary.
“I was really scared to go out. I was scared to go into the city centre. I’m really glad he got a prison sentence.”