"you reacted in anger and essentially launched a revenge attack."
Halima Ahmed escaped a prison sentence after she took “revenge” on her sister-in-law at a wedding.
The mother of nine and Zainab Ahmed, aged 57, got into an argument at Bia Lounge Wedding Hall in Small Heath, Birmingham, having fallen out several years before.
On June 16, 2019, the argument caused Zainab to throw a biscuit in retaliation.
Halima then threw a flask of coffee, which missed, before tossing a plate at her sister-in-law’s face.
Birmingham Crown Court heard that Zainab lifted her arm and blocked it. However, it caused a deep cut to her muscle that has now left her disabled.
Summing up the case, Judge Paul Farrer said:
“You and Zainab Ahmed were sisters-in-law and at one time had been close friends. That changed in 2016 when you and she had a falling out.
“The details are in dispute but in my judgement, they simply don’t matter.
“It’s clear from that time onwards there was ill-feeling between you and you ignored one another as and when you met at family events.
“Against that background on June 16, 2019, you both attended a wedding reception in Birmingham.
“Something happened between you and it’s common ground you both ended up swearing at one another.
“Following that exchange Zainab threw a biscuit at you and you responded by throwing a flask of coffee at her.
“You denied doing that at your trial but you acknowledged the truth of this to a probation officer.
“Zainab managed to avoid being struck by the flask whereupon you picked up a plate and threw it at her face.
“She reacted to that by raising her left arm and thereby successfully deflected the plate away. In consequence, she suffered a deep and extensive laceration to her arm.”
Zainab was left with a “large and conspicuous” scar as well as “significant and ongoing disability to her left arm”.
The judge added: “Zainab threw a biscuit at you. Plainly there was no element of self-defence from you to that happening.
“Instead, you reacted in anger and essentially launched a revenge attack.”
Halima was cleared of causing grievous bodily harm with intent but she had already admitted an offence of unlawful wounding.
Defending, James Dunstan said his client “mistakenly interpreted the situation” by thinking Zainab was coming to attack her.
He added: “Halima is truly sorry for her unlawful actions.
“She continues to consider Zainab as her sister or like her sister. It’s clear she was defending herself from a position of remorse.”
Halima was spared immediate imprisonment, partially due to her poor physical health and also because it would have a significant impact on her two remaining “dependent” children.”
She received a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months. This included a 16-week electronically monitored curfew between 8 pm and 6 am.
In a statement, Zainab said:
“I used to be a person who had two hands and I have become a person who has use of only one hand.”
The lasting effects of her injuries include pain, numbness, sleepless nights and an aversion to heat.
Zainab also listed the day-to-day things she struggles to do including washing, cooking, gardening as well as looking after her daughter and caring for her elderly mother.
Halima also received a seven-year restraining order, banning her from direct contact with Zainab. She was also ordered to pay £535 costs.
Judge Farrer did not award any compensation after enquiring with Zainab who said:
“I don’t don’t want to take money from her pocket.”