A man who stormed into a restaurant brandishing a fake gun and threatened his half-brother over a family dispute has been given a suspended sentence.
Oliur Chowdhury, 25, barged into the Radhuni Indian restaurant - owned by his half brother Kawsar on Ocean Road, in South Shields,on June 28 demanding to know the whereabouts of another sibling.
In trying to fix a problem he has created an even bigger one.Vic Laffey
Newcastle Crown Court heard that Chowdhury had been annoyed that his two brothers hadn’t visited their 82-year-old father over the Eid period and said that he wanted to find the other brother, Kamal, and kill him.
During the confrontation in the restaurant’s kitchen, Chowdhury pointed the imitation firearm at Kawsar’s head and said that half-brother Kamal had been causing trouble at his house by making disrespectful jibes about his mother and he was going to find him and kill him.
Neil Palister, prosecuting said: “The defendant arrived at the restaurant’s kitchen with two other men demanding to know the whereabouts of Kamal at around 11pm in the evening.
“Kawsar thought the firearm was a real weapon and appealed to his half brother to calm down and go back home as he didn’t know where Kamal was.
“The defendant then shouted at Kawsar that he was going to kill Kamal and that they were not looking after their elderly father.”
Chowdhury then told Kawsar that he was angry that they had taken the restaurant away from their father and put him out of business and demanded money from him.
CCTV footage showed that the brief incident ended when Kawsar managed to usher Chowdhury out of the restaurant’s kitchen. He then left in a car with the other men.
Mr Palister said: “Kawsar was very distressed after the incident and since Oliur’s arrest he has feared further attacks from other members of the family.
“He knows that the defendant has a violent past and has been in trouble with the police before so feared for his life when he was faced with the gun.”
He added: “He has four small children and also fears for their safety.”
Chowdhury, of Blenheim Walk, South Shields, pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm with the intention to cause fear or violence at an earlier hearing.
Vic Laffey, defending said: “The background to this incident goes back to a long running family dispute.
“Mr Chowdhury is the primary carer for their 82-year-old father, who was the original owner of the restaurant.
“He passed the business on to Kawsar and Kamal and the defendant says that since then the pair have stopped visiting their father and abandoned him.
“They also didn’t visit him during the Eid season, something that is very disrespectful in the Bangladeshi community.”
The court heard that Kamal had also been to Chowdhury’s house and made jibes about his mother, something that played on his mind.
He said: “The defendent is a young man who is intelligent enough to realise what he did was wrong. He is full of remorse for what he did and accepts it was the wrong thing to do and that it was not the way to go about the situation.
“He has expressed a desire to build bridges with the family as at the time he was extremely upset.”
He added: “In trying to fix a problem he has created an even bigger one.”
Sentencing Chowdhury, who has previous convictions for battery and affray to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, His Honour Judge Jeremy Freedman said: “You went to the restaurant that is part owned by your half brother
accompanied by two other men and carrying an imitation firearm.
“You were demanding to know the whereabouts of another half brother and pulled an imitation handgun out of your trouser waist and said that you wanted to find him and kill him.
“It is unsurprising that Kawsar was fearing for his life as he thought that it was a real weapon and that his life was in danger.
“You have anger management issues but references have said that you are a valued member of the community who does a lot to help towards racial discrimination.
“I think the two months you have spent in custody have been punitive and taught you a lesson. As you are also the main carer for your elderly father I am prepared to give you a suspended sentence.”
He added: “You are not being let off at all, I am being merciful for the reasons I have explained.”
Chowdhury was also made to undergo anger management classes and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work in the community.