Join Date: Feb 2009
Thug Walid Salem boasts he is untouchable as the householder he tormented is jailed
By Colin Fernandez And Ryan Kisiel
Last updated at 10:15 AM on 21st December 2009
A career criminal who violated a man's home with two other knife-wielding thugs boasted that the law could not touch him.
Walid Salem, 57, was set free by a judge while Munir Hussain, the householder, was jailed for two-and-a-half years.
In court Munir's wife Shaheen, 49, who has recently suffered a stroke, described her ordeal.
After the raiders burst into their home, she said: 'They were hitting my husband. When I asked them to stop or looked up they started hitting him again.
'They told us to lie face down and not speak, or they would kill us. It was very terrifying. Just thinking about it makes me shiver.'
Munir, 53, a self-made millionaire businessman, managed to escape and he and his brother Tokeer chased Salem as he fled. After catching him, 'in the agony of the moment' they beat him with weapons including a cricket bat which broke into three.
Salem suffered a fractured skull, a broken jaw and brain damage.
Munir's brother Qadeer, 45, said yesterday that Salem bragged outside court he would not go to prison for threatening to kill Mr Hussain, his ill wife, and three children.
Qadeer, an IT consultant, said: 'Outside he was deliberately talking loudly to his son, saying, "The law cannot jail me".'
The words proved to be prophetic, for Salem was given only a two-year supervision order. But then Salem, unlike the man whose home he invaded, has had plenty of experience of the criminal justice system - and he has rarely received much more than a slap on the wrist.
As the Daily Mail can reveal in detail for the first time, Salem has a shameful list of more than 50 convictions that stretch back to 1980.
Despite crimes including possessing a firearm, 22 fraud offences and 27 of theft, the longest sentence Salem ever received was 42 months, of which he would have had to serve only half.
Ironically, Salem posed as an upstanding member of the community, even helping to organise the Neighbourhood Watch at his home in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.
Sylvia Hodgkinson, who lives in the same block of flats, said: 'He thought Britain was in a dire way. He was angry about youths drinkingand vandalising property. He felt things were not under control, that other countries dealt with it better.'
Salem, who was born in Cairo, has a son aged 28 and 20-year-old twins, a son and daughter. He is now thought to be living in a criminal rehabilitation centre.
Meanwhile Munir and Tokeer Hussain were convicted of causing grievous bodily harm.
The brothers insist they used no more than reasonable force and claim that Salem's serious injuries were not inflicted by them, but by a group of youths who were driving by and came to their aid.
They are seeking to appeal against their convictions and sentence.
Munir will be represented by Michael Wolkind QC, who acted for Tony Martin, the Norfolk farmer who shot dead a burglar at his home.
Munir Hussain's life as he knew it ended on September 3 last year. Until then, the successful businessman had been well known and esteemed among High Wycombe's Asian community. He was involved in numerous local projects, but the one of which he was perhaps most proud was his campaign to save his former school from demolition and have it turned into a young people's centre.
His wife, Shaheen, 49, the mother of his three children, was an equally popular figure who would always create a sumptuous spread when the pair were hosting an event. If anyone had a problem, it was to the Hussains' house they would go for advice.
The police, too, often sought Mr Hussain's advice, most notably during tension which followed the arrests of terror suspects in the area in 2007. He was known as 'The Peacemaker'.
But everything changed one night last year when Munir and his two sons returned from the mosque and were threatened at knifepoint by a gang of three men wearing balaclavas.
They and Munir's wife and daughter were forced to lie on the floor and were told they were going to be killed, and their terrifying ordeal ended only when Munir and his son, Samad, broke free and chased one of the intruders, career criminal Waled Salem, into a neighbour's garden.
Salem was then subjected to a ferocious attack which left him with a permanent brain injury and a fractured skull.
Witnesses said about four Asian men were seen battering Salem with implements including a hockey stick and cricket bat.
Munir and his 35-year-old brother, Tokeer, were convicted of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and this week Munir was sentenced to 30 months in jail while his brother was sentenced to 39 months.
The story has provoked a storm of debate over the rights of homeowners to defend themselves when their family are threatened in their own homes.
The fact that Munir Hussain is now in prison while the man who broke into his home is free - having been given only a two-year supervision order - is seen as a terrible injustice by many people. So what has the impact of this shocking series of events been on Munir and his family?
fear Munir may be suicidal. His barrister, Michael Wolkind QC, says: 'We are afraid he will harm himself and it won't just be a gesture.' Munir, 53, has told his solicitor Razi Shah that the conviction has left him stunned. He reportedly told him: 'I just can't understand a justice system that would jail me for trying to save the lives of my children.
'I don't know what I was supposed to do. I thought the jury would have families and
have some idea what the terror of their children being threatened is like. Every Briton desperate to protect their family from criminals could end up like me.'
Speaking publicly for the first time, Qadeer Hussain, the brother of Munir and Tokeer, reveals the devastation the family has suffered as a result of the incident. Munir's wife and their sons Awais, 21, Samad, 15, and 18-year- old daughter Arooj, are living in terror after police told Munir they had received information that their lives were under threat.
Qadeer, a 45-year-old computer network designer, said that after the attack, Munir's personality dramatically changed. 'As the eldest sibling of the family, he was probably the most calm, he would
think about things before he did anything,' he said. 'He was not the type of person who would worry about about anything. But since this incident, he has been distraught. He put in alarms at his home and security cameras.
'He pretty much became a prisoner in his own house. He believes the two other men who were with Salem are still at large, and he doesn't know if they are going to come back.'
According to Qadeer, Munir's wife - whom he married in 1983 - has also retreated into herself and is deeply traumatised. She had a stroke a few years ago and suffered a second during her husband's trial. 'When I visit, she doesn't say a word,' said Qadeer.
'She used to visit all the family's houses in the road pretty much every day. She doesn't go out of the house any more.
'She is extremely fearful for her children and herself, and her husband not being there makes it even more difficult.'
One of the hardest things for the family, however, has been seeing the impact on the brothers' 80-year- old father, Zaman Ali. Already in frail health following a stroke, he has suffered two heart attacks since the break-in.
He brought his family to Britain in 1964 from Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, where he worked as a farmhand, in search of a better life, and took work as a labourer. Qadeer says his father instilled in his sons a strong sense of community. 'We come from a very humble background. But my father has vision. He set up a school in Pakistan for girls to take them beyond primary education. My father brought my brother Munir here to educate him, to live in a civilised society.
'My father once told Munir off for having a parking ticket. That was the mindset of our parents.'
In High Wycombe, Munir went to Green Street Community School, and later when the council wanted to close it, he was instrumental in turning it into a community centre.
Munir trained as an engineer but later founded a soundproofing company, Soundsorba, which now has an annual turnover of £2.5million. His brother Tokeer works for it.
Munir's son Awais said the ambush was 'every family's worst nightmare'. 'These men were wearing balaclavas and holding 12in knives to our necks,' he said. 'They punched me and my father repeatedly in the head and face and pushed us all to the floor.
'My father tried to reason with them, saying, "Take everything we have - just don't hurt us". But the men were sneering and shouting, "We're gonna f*****g kill you".
'My sister and mother were crying hysterically. We all thought we were going to die.'
Qadeer assumes the gang wanted to rob them. 'You force the family to say where money is hidden, or whatever.
'After his son Samad escaped, Munir had no idea where he was. He was thinking his son could have been kidnapped, could have been killed.'
After the incident, Munir was taken to a police station to make a victim statement, but arrested that night. 'He was put in a police cell and detained; he didn't get the opportunity to speak to anybody,' said Qadeer. 'In the the six or seven days he was locked up, he worried all the time about what was happening to the rest of his family.
'Knowing that two men who had broken into the house were still at large was absolute torture for him.'
Before the trial, Munir was granted bail. 'I'd visit him at home and most of the time he'd be staring into space. He wasn't interested in doing anything else.'
says Munir's son Samad has also been deeply affected. 'He was a cheerful lad but this has scarred him for life. When I try to cheer him up there's no response. Munir's daughter Arooj also doesn't go out of the house any more.'
Qadeer says his father is trying to be philosophical about what has happened. 'His attitude is that we just have to be strong and carry on.'
Munir and his brother are locked up in HMP Bullingdon in Bicester. The family solicitor visited them on Thursday. 'Munir was being brave and trying to be practical about adjusting to his new environment,' said Qadeer. 'He was, naturally, worried about his family.
'We don't live a normal life any more. We feel Munir and Tokeer have been harshly dealt with.'
Meanwhile Egyptian-born Waled Salem, 57, is a free man. He received a two-year supervision order for aggravated burglary and false imprisonment after being deemed not fit to plead.
How does Qadeer feel about Salem? 'For any civilised person to go through what my brothers have and realise the person who has done it to them had 52 previous convictions including for firearms - which is what emerged at the trial - I find it difficult to understand.
'He's been a career criminal since 1981 and he's walking the streets.
'He's been caught more than 50 times, how many times has he got away with it, and not been caught? How many other families have been terrorised?'
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