Tom Cotterill, Daily Mail, July 18, 2023
A young Muslim woman who started a drunken brawl at a bowling alley has been let off wearing an electronic ‘sobriety’ tag after she claimed it would hinder her Friday prayers preparation.
Husina Hussain, 20, had faced having to wear the device on her ankle under a court order after she floored manager Ami Singleton at the venue and hurled racial abuse before lashing out and attacking police, calling them: ‘F******g whites.’
But her lawyer Seraj Khan begged justices not to impose an alcohol abstinence order claiming Hussain had quit boozing and that a tag would prevent her from completing Wudhu, the ritual washing performed by Muslims before prayer.
According to Islam, Muslims must be clean and wear good clothes before they present themselves before God.
Mr Khan told the court: ‘Her faith had got stronger since the incident. The prospect of wearing an alcohol monitoring tag is causing some concern to her as she now prays regularly and must wash herself fully as part of this. She feels she wouldn’t be able to fully clean unless she was able to remove this tag.’
At Tameside Magistrates’ Court, Hussain, from Oldham, Greater Manchester admitted assault by beating, assault by beating of an emergency worker and racially aggravated harassment.
After being handed a nine-month community order, she was required to complete 15 rehabilitation activity days as part of it – and no alcohol monitoring programme was imposed.
Magistrates said the rehab days, which will involve a series of face-to-face counselling sessions, would be sufficient to address Hussain’s alcohol issues.
She was also fined £200 and made to pay costs of £85 as well as the £114 victim surcharge. She was made to pay £100 damages to Ami Singleton who is assistant manager at the Hollywood bowling alley in Ashton-under-Lyne and a further £100 compensation to a PC Hutchenson who was assaulted during the incident.
Prosecutor James Hudson told the court the mayhem took place at 6.45pm on September 18, 2022 after assistant manager Ms Singleton overheard an ‘intoxicated’ female using ‘loud foul language’ at the bowling alley.
‘She told the defendant to stop using the foul language due to the bowling alley being a family place,’ Mr Hudson told the court. ‘But the defendant refused to calm down and hit the complainant on the side of her face.
‘A scuffle between the two then ensued. The defendant then took the complainant to the floor. The pair had to be broken up by other people in the bowling alley.
‘The defendant then ran back over to the complainant and slapped her in the face. She also grabbed her hair and pulled it for a few seconds.’
Hussain continued to be aggressive as police arrive, refusing to calm down and trying to hit and kick PC Hutchenson ‘a number of times’, the prosecutor added.
‘As she was being arrested, the defendant shouted ‘You f******g whites, go f**k yourself.’ She also said, ‘You stupid n*****r m******r f*****r’ to Singleton,’ Mr Hudson said.
In her victim personal statement, Ms Singleton said: ‘This has made me feel sad and angry. I have worked here my whole life and this is the first time this has happened. I have never felt like this.’
Hussain has no previous convictions. In mitigation, her lawyer Mr Seraj Khan said his client had gone ‘cold turkey’ and stopped drinking since the attack.
He added: ‘There have also been no further incidents with the police. She has tried to turn her life around and this has all been done without support. She has undiagnosed PTSD, which was the reason why she was drinking in the first place. This comes from trauma she received as a child.’
In sentencing, JP Ronald Marshall told Hussain: ‘Rehabilitation days will address the root cause of the main issue, alcohol. This was an isolated incident and you are of good character. This matter has been going on for some time now – put it behind you and move on.’
Since March 2021, courts in England have been able to impose Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring Requirements (AAMRs) if heavy drinking was a factor in an offender’s crime, AAMRs ban them from drinking alcohol for up to 120 days and offenders must also wear an alcohol monitoring tag as part of their community sentence.
The tag takes a sample of the wearer’s sweat every 30 minutes and provides a continuous record of whether the offender has been drinking. If the tag detects alcohol or is tampered with, an alert is sent to the Probation Service which can bring the offender back to court for non-compliance.