Blackburn man who pepper sprayed toddler for mental health treatment

A man who pepper sprayed four people, including a toddler, at a Blackburn shopping center has been ordered to undergo treatment for his mental health.

Salema Khaled Issa, 53, was convicted of possession of a prohibited weapon – but cleared of four counts of assault after a jury found he acted in self-defence.

Preston Crown Court heard on November 6, 2018 Issa was involved in an altercation with a man he had a “history” with. After hitting the man in the street, Issa drove to the mall where he dropped the spray, catching the man and his wife as well as a young woman with a toddler in the crossfire.

READ MORE: 15-year-old boy stabbed in alleged revenge attack days after his father was murdered

Police found Issa hiding in a locker room at River Island and arrested him. They found two more cans of pepper spray at his home in Swallow Avenue, Blackburn.

During the trial at Preston Crown Court, Issa said he suffered from PTSD after fleeing war in Mozambique and being the victim of a racist attack in 2001. He dropped the spray because he feared he was in danger, he said.

The jury cleared him of four counts of assault causing actual bodily harm but found him guilty of possession of a firearm (pepper spray) in a public place.

Judge Philip Parry sentenced Issa to a 15-month community order with up to 15 days of rehabilitation and a requirement for mental health treatment. He said the four people who were sprayed suffered “very unpleasant effects”.

He said: “You (Issa) were clearly worried, and have been for many years, about coming into contact with people in Blackburn – including Mr Patel, who you feared would harm you. I am sure you used to carry this with you when you were out in public.

“The acquittal by the jury does not take away from the sympathy I have for Mr and Mrs Patel and the two bystanders, who were not involved in the clash at all.” The judge denied a request for a restraining order.

About Jerry Richter

Check Also

No private sale, use of fireworks during drought disaster declaration in effect: Bell County judge

BELTON, Texas (KWTX) – Bell County Judge David Blackburn on Wednesday, June 22, issued an …