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Pair found guilty of attacking man near Whitstable train station

Callous thugs who blamed each other for inflicting serious knife wounds to a "kind, gentle and caring" waiter over a "trivial" beer can throw have both been convicted of the vicious attack.

In what is known as a 'cut-throat' defence, Lewis Day and Daryl Brown each maintained the other had been responsible for the late-night stabbing of Modasher Hossain as he made his way home from an evening shift at the Gandhi Indian restaurant in Herne Bay.

Modasher Hossain, known as Sharif, was found lying in a pool of blood after he was stabbed. Picture: Sharif family/GoFundMe
Modasher Hossain, known as Sharif, was found lying in a pool of blood after he was stabbed. Picture: Sharif family/GoFundMe

Day, 25, from Ramsgate, claimed his co-defendant had threatened to "f*** up' the 55-year-old before chasing him into an alleyway near Whitstable train station, where he punched him unconscious and then inflicted as many as five stab wounds to his leg and buttock.

However, 33-year-old Brown, from Margate, told jurors that although he had pursued Mr Hossain, he left him unharmed and only found out there had been a knife attack when Day later showed him a blade with blood on the tip and confessed.

But it was the prosecution case that both men acted together in what is known as a "joint enterprise" and that each was liable for the acts committed by the other even if the role of one was to encourage or assist.

Canterbury Crown Court heard that violence erupted just before midnight on December 16 last year after Mr Hossain disembarked from a London-bound train and found a phone belonging to Day's sister, Sophie Judd, on the platform.

Although he handed it back to Day without apparent incident, Brown - who was Miss Judd's boyfriend - then threw a Stella beer can at Mr Hossain from the coastbound platform.

Police outside Whitstable train station after Modasher Hossain was stabbed
Police outside Whitstable train station after Modasher Hossain was stabbed

The court heard however that when he chucked it back, the men reacted by hunting down the middle-aged restaurant worker and confronting him in an area known locally as Stream Walk alley.

Mr Hossain, who once owned and ran the Invicta Tandoori in the town, was eventually found by a member of the public in a semi-conscious state and lying in a pool of blood.

As well as his stab wounds, he had sustained a traumatic brain injury and even after months of hospital treatment has still not been able to tell police what happened to him after he had alighted from his train.

Other than providing a statement recalling what he believed had been "just another day" at work, he was unable to take part in the trial.

But the jury of nine women and three men watched CCTV and heard eye-witness accounts which depicted events and conversations surrounding the "brutal" onslaught.

One passer-by - a young man called George Broadbent - found the seriously injured Mr Hossain, having observed two men and a woman - Day, Brown and Miss Judd - for several minutes at the station and overheard the males talking about the potential consequences of their violent outburst.

This included one accusing the other of stabbing someone before remarking they would be "done for attempted murder", only for the man referred to within the group as 'Lewis' heartlessly responding: "No, we are going to get done for murder because we are going to leave him here."

A taxi driver also reported hearing a man - Brown - telling a woman - Miss Judd - that they needed to leave before they were arrested, adding he was not going to prison.

Day, of Hereson Road, and Brown, of Tomlin Drive, both denied wounding Mr Hossain with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, as well as the alternative, less serious offence of unlawful wounding.

But, after hearing each try to pin the blame on their co-accused, the jury found Day guilty of wounding with intent and convicted Brown of wounding, having cleared him of the more serious charge.

Day was not in the dock however to hear the unanimous verdicts, having reportedly refused to leave the prison where he has been held on remand.

Judge Mark Weekes will sentence the pair once reports by the probation service have been prepared, including an assessment as to whether Day is a "dangerous" offender and a risk to the public.

Victim impact statements are also expected from Mr Hossain and his 18-year-old son who, the court heard post-verdicts, had "picked up the work commitments" of his father since the attack.

And in drawing the trial to a close, the judge singled out 'Good Samaritan' Mr Broadbent for particular praise.

Recommending him for a High Sheriff of Kent Award, Judge Weekes said: "It is not an exaggeration to say that Mr Hossain's life was saved by what he (Mr Broadbent) did.

"Not only that, at what I consider to be considerable emotional cost to himself, he came to give evidence about it.

"And not just his quick-thinking and common sense that saved Mr Hossain's life but considerable personal bravery to do what he did and monitor the conversations that were going on with a view to provide the evidence that he did in this case is deserving of the highest possible praise. It was extraordinarily public-spirited of him and he deserves considerable commendation from this court as a consequence of what he did."

The court heard Burger King employee Day, together with Brown and Miss Judd, had gone to Whitstable that evening so Miss Judd could "fake beg" - pretend to be homeless for money - outside a Sainsbury's store.

Their first interaction with Mr Hossain however was at the train station a few hours later.

CCTV showed the waiter getting off his train, speaking to the conductor and then picking something up off the London-bound platform.

Lewis Day and Daryl Brown’s trial took place at Canterbury Crown Court
Lewis Day and Daryl Brown’s trial took place at Canterbury Crown Court

Day, on realising the item was his sister's phone, could then be seen crossing the tracks from the coastbound platform to retrieve it.

But as he made his way back, the footage showed Brown launching his Stella can with force towards Mr Hossain.

Having landed near his feet, he then picked it up and threw it back across the tracks, sparking the chase.

Describing the incident as "relatively trivial", prosecutor James Harrison told the jury: "With the benefit of hindsight, it may be thought Mr Hossain acted unwisely in throwing the can back towards them, but again it did not hit anybody and looks as though it did not reach the other platform.

"After doing so he makes his way quickly down the stairs and out of the station. However, that triggered an almost instant and disproportionate reaction from the defendants."

Mr Harrison said as they and Miss Judd dashed from the platform, across the bridge and down towards the exit Mr Hossain had used, it was "obvious" they were pursuing him.

Cameras outside the station caught Mr Hossain running away, followed by Brown, with Day a few seconds behind and finally his sister.

But having fled along the front of the station and into the alleyway, all four then went out of sight.

The court heard Miss Judd reappeared nine seconds later, while Brown remained out of view for 25 seconds and Day for one minute and 45 seconds.

It was during this time that the two men were alleged by the prosecution to have launched their joint attack.

‘It is not an exaggeration to say that Mr Hossain's life was saved by what he did...’

However, giving evidence to the court, Brown said he had not resorted to any violence and threw the can "in frustration" as he thought Mr Hossain had not handed back the phone.

He admitted chasing him but maintained he stayed on the steps leading into the alley and never came within two metres of Mr Hossain.

Brown told the jury once he realised there had been a "misunderstanding" and the phone had in fact been returned, he turned and left, only to see Day run past him and towards the victim, shouting: "Who are you throwing a beer at?"

Brown claimed he did not know anyone had been stabbed until Day, rejoined him and Miss Judd at the station, pulled out a 20cm-bladed kitchen knife and confessed.

Day, however, told the court that he had tried to stop Brown pursuing Mr Hossain and, once in the alley, saw him punch the victim unconscious before stabbing him repeatedly as he lay on the ground.

He said that as Brown then walked off "like nothing had happened", he stayed to check the stricken man's pulse before "panicking" and heading back to the station.

Although their accounts differed, both accepted they did not phone the emergency services to help the victim.

Other people at the station gave evidence of hearing shouting and swearing among Day, Brown and Miss Judd, as well as the remarks being made referencing attempted murder and murder.

It was also said Miss Judd was kicked by one of the men, told to 'Shut the f*** up' and warned not to call police.

Day told the jury it was Brown who had made the comment about "getting done for murder".

The trio eventually got on a coastbound train but a brawl soon broke out between the two men, which led to Brown and his girlfriend disembarking before it left the station.

Day however remained onboard and was eventually arrested on his arrival at Margate train station shortly before 1am. He simply told police he had had a fight with his sister's boyfriend.

Brown was arrested in Whitstable at around 2am but the court heard he had earlier spoken to police when they first arrived on the scene.

Having initially told an officer he had "done nothing", he then referred to "a big fight among teens" when reports of a stabbing were mentioned to him.

In evidence, Brown said because he was "scared of being dragged into something he didn't do", he thought this would direct help to Mr Hossain in the alley without having to say what had actually happened.

The weapon used to stab Mr Hossain was never found and, although Miss Judd was interviewed by police, she declined to give a statement and did not give evidence at the trial.

Following the attack, Mr Hossain was taken to King's College Hospital in London, where he was put into an induced coma and admitted to the intensive care unit.

The jury was told a possible cause of such a brain injury was blunt force trauma from being struck with a hard object, being punched or kicked, or falling onto a hard surface.

With Mr Hossain being unable to work, his colleagues set up an online appeal to raise money for his family and within four weeks it totalled more than £10,000.

They thanked those who donated, saying: "We knew Sharif was loved by local people but the vast amount of you who have been so generous is astonishing."

One donor wrote on the gofundme page: “Sharif is a lovely, hard-working, caring guy and a good friend.

“He is an upstanding member of the community and would do anything to help friends and family."

Day and Brown, who is also in custody, will be sentenced by Judge Weekes on October 4.

Brown was warned that despite being convicted of the less serious charge, he still faced a "significant" jail term.

"This was a very, very unpleasant offence with very, very unpleasant consequences," said the judge.

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