‘Preacher’ left takeaway boss brain damaged in attack over staff's 'revealing' clothing

·3-min read
Hamdi Braiek, 34, (pictured) launched the attack on takeaway boss Mukhtar Hussain in Maidstone. (SWNS)
Hamdi Braiek, 34, attacked a takeaway boss in Maidstone. (SWNS)

A self-styled preacher who repeatedly jumped on a restaurant owner's head over how one of his staff was dressed has been jailed for more than eight years.

Hamdi Braiek, 34, launched the attack on takeaway boss Mukhtar Hussain in Maidstone, Kent, while ranting about God, Jesus and Mohammed.

Braiek repeatedly stamped on the head of Hussain, 35, as he lay unconscious after claiming a female staff member was "showing her boobs" by what she was wearing.

Mr Hussain was left in a critical condition and may never fully recover as he needs round-the-clock care due to the seriousness of his head injuries.

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General view of Maidstone Crown Court.
Braiek was jailed at Maidstone Crown Court. (Getty)

At around 4pm on 30 May 2021, Braiek attacked a transgender couple walking in the street asking if what they were doing was in line with their religious beliefs.

He confronted Skye Baxter with a transphobic rant about judgement day, then swung punches to her face and assaulted her friend Alex Kerr.

Braiek, who has done national service with the Tunisian Army, then went into Grill 91 in the town two hours later and complained that a female member of staff "had her boobs out" which offended him, adding it was "unprofessional".

Mr Hussain and Braiek then walked to a nearby road when the defendant threw the first punch. He claimed the victim said he was armed with a knife.

Police said no weapon was ever found.

George Ayling, who works at the Society Rooms Wetherspoons Public House on the same street where the attack happened, told how he saw the defendant rugby-tackling the victim to the ground before delivering several blows to his head.

Mr Hussain was critically injured and airlifted to King's College Hospital in London where he was placed into an induced coma.

He underwent a CT scan that confirmed he suffered bleeds on the brain and was left so seriously injured he could not give evidence in court as he is still suffering a "significant cognitive impact" a year after the attack.

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At Maidstone Crown Court, Braiek admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent and was acquitted by a jury of attempted murder, a charge he had denied. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of battery.

Braiek was jailed for eight years and three months and will have to serve at least two-thirds of the sentence before he can be considered for parole.

Judge Julian Smith said CCTV footage had shown "real intent" by Braiek, who stamped on the head when his victim was lifeless and unconscious.

Mr Hussein may never be able to return to paid employment and his wife was expecting their third child when the attack happened, prosecutor Daniel Stevenson said.

His wife told the judge in an impact statement: "It is heart-breaking to know my husband went through this. He was a healthy and hard-working man."

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