An ice cream man who was filmed smashing a rival’s van window has been told he could face jail. Blackburn magistrates described former Mr Yummy driver Zeheer Ramzan as ‘untruthful’ and found him guilty of assault with intent upon a rival Mr Whippy seller. He had previously pleaded guilty to criminal damage and possession of a weapon in a public place, but denied assault. The row, in which Ramzan was armed with a wheel wrench was captured on a resident’s mobile phone as it unfolded on Blackburn’s Palatine Road.
Mr Yummy, Zeheer Ramzan, left, and Mr Whippy, Mohammed Mulla.
The 34-year-old Halifax man had told police his victim, Mr Whippy seller Mohammed Mulla, had ‘rear ended’ the back of his van. But magistrates accepted Mr Mulla’s version of events, that he had been struck on the arm with the wrench, and then showered with glass from a smashed window.Police recalled Ramzan for questioning after viewing the video footage. He had claimed the glass smashed accidentally. Prosecutor Eddie Harrison asked if he had left his vehicle armed with the tyre wrench both times he approached Mr Mulla.
Ramzan replied ‘No’. He said: “I just ran at his van to scare him away, he had been following me. I went back to the van for it because he had waved a claw hammer at me.” Mr Harrison then showed CCTV footage from Mr Mulla’s van in which he can be seen holding the wrench both times he approaches. Mr Ramzan replied: “It was months ago.” Mr Ramzan also told the court he had never been in trouble with the police before to which Mr Harrison produced documents showing court convictions for driving when uninsured and obstructing justice.
Defending, Tahir Mahmood said there was no evidence from the CCTV that the tyre wrench caused later bruising to Mr Mulla’s arm. He said: “There is not even sound on the audio track of the CCTV to suggest that.” Mr Harrison said: “You told a pack of lies to the police to blacken the name of a rival seller. Without the video evidence, Mr Mulla may have been the defendant.” Ramzan, who has been out of work since the incident, was bailed to return for sentencing next month and banned from entering Blackburn except to attend court. After the case Mr Mulla said: “It's a relief to see justice done. It has been a nightmare since this happened. The incident was terrifying and I was frightened to go out afterwards. I am very relieved.”