Dewsbury man drove his car at 15-year-old boy — because he was a Muslim

A man hurled a torrent of abuse at a schoolboy and then repeatedly drove his car at him – because he was a Muslim.

The terrified 15-year-old was forced to jump over a wall to get away from Lee Blenkin as he zig zagged towards him.

Blenkin, once honoured by the Queen for services to the community, was jailed after admitting to religiously-aggravated assault.

District Judge Michael Fanning told him: “This is disgusting behaviour.

“You caused enormous fear to a 15-year-old boy and the public won’t tolerate this, neither will this court.”

The attack on the boy happened as he walked towards his mosque wearing full Islamic dress on August 9.

As he headed along Carlton Road in Dewsbury Blenkin drove past, wound his window down and shouted something at him.

Jill Seddon, prosecuting, told Kirklees Magistrates’ Court: “The boy said: ‘He seemed to want my attention and I went towards the car.

“‘When I got to the passenger window the man said why did you convert to them?

“‘I said what do you mean and he said why the f**k are you wearing that?

“‘He shouted at me and I believe this was because I was wearing Islamic dress.’”

Blenkin continued to shout at the teenager, making reference to him being a Muslim, and this tirade of abuse lasted for around one-and-a-half minutes.

When the 49-year-old finished shouting, he reversed away before driving at the boy.

He said: “I ran away and the vehicle drove at me again. It did this four times.

“I heard the tyres losing grip and I ran as fast as I could as I thought he was going to hit me.”

The schoolboy eventually took refuge behind a wall, noted down the car number plate and texted the details to his sister who called police.

He added that he felt very distressed by his ordeal.

Zahid Majeed, mitigating, said that his client was “genuinely remorseful” and “bowed his head in shame” over his actions that day.

The court heard that successful engineer Blenkin, of Halifax Road in Dewsbury, was once invited to Buckingham Palace and given an award by the Queen.

Mr Majeed said: “He has nothing but remorse and regret.

“He understands that everyone has rights to their religious freedom and it was none of his business to make any comment about the way the complainant was dressed.”

Judge Fanning jailed Blenkin, who had no previous convictions, for 16 weeks.

He told him: “The only explanation for your behaviour is some type of deep seated animosity towards Muslims.

“You targeted a 15-year-old for no other reason than he was dressed as a Muslim.

“You revved the car engine, spun the wheels and drove at him in a zig zag as he ran no doubt in fear for his life.

“This is a deterrent sentence. Nobody should believe that they can behave in this way and target somebody because of their religion of race or belief.”

Because Blenkin used his car as a weapon, Judge Fanning also banned him from driving for 12 months and eight weeks.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner

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