'Happy Slappers' Who Killed Grandfather Outside Mosque May Walk Free In Months

28/07/2010 18:23 | Updated 22 May 2015

A pensioner was killed outside a mosque by two members of a 'happy slapping' gang, and the whole thing was caught on CCTV.

The footage, which was released by police, show how Ekram Haque, 67, was struck to the ground in front of his three-year-old granddaughter Marian.

In the video, Marian can be seen trying to comfort her grandfather, who suffered irreparable brain damage. He died a week after the assault last August.

The grandfather and granddaughter had only just left the mosque after attending prayers for the holy season of Ramadan when the attack happened.

Yesterday a court order was lifted, allowing Mr Haque's killers, Leon Elcock, now 16, and Hamza Lyzai, now 15, both of Tooting, South-West London, to be named.

However, gang leader Elcock has only been locked up for four-and-a-half years and Lyzai for three-and-a-half years.

Mr Haque's son Arfan, 35, attacked the Crown Prosecution Service for dropping the murder charges against the pair. He said: 'Justice has not been served. I have been let down. The CPS really need to buck up their ideas because people are getting away with murder. My father died. It's a disgrace.'

The teenagers pleaded guilty to manslaughter and also admitted their parts in other assaults. Brian Altman, QC, prosecuting, said the series of 'wanton and cowardly' attacks were 'deliberately targeted on middle-aged and elderly men for fun and for the defendants' own pleasure'.

The death of the retired care worker was the culmination of a series of 'happy slapping' incidents recorded on mobile phone cameras. The teenagers had assaulted two other men just before hitting Mr Haque.

Five days before the attack, one of the teenagers and another gang member had attacked a married elderly couple, kicking and stamping on them in their own home. The gang regularly filmed the attacks under the name 'Lane Gang Productions'.

Elcock and Lyzai had been due to face trial for murder, but the prosecution accepted pleas to lesser offences after reviewing the evidence. As Elcock had already spent almost a year in custody, he will be freed after just two years and three months. Meanwhile, Lyzai will be out within months.

Judge Martin Stephens, QC, told the killers when sentencing them: 'As a result of your so-called bit of fun he [Mr Haque] was deprived of a full and contented life, and his family of a devoted, inspiring and beloved father and grandfather.'

Mr Haque's son said: 'My father was a very loving individual. He gave his time to anybody and everybody. It is tragic he died in the way he did, he was such a peaceful man.'

Source: Daily Mail

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