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Crime suspects must stay away from Bradford estate
A suspected crime boss and his quadbike-riding gang member have been banned from an estate in Barkerend where they ruled with such terror that visitors had to be shielded by a security guard with an Alsatian dog.
Bradford Council sought Interim Anti-Social Behaviour Orders against alleged drug dealer Liaquat Ali, 29, and his sidekick Haris Ali Saleem, 22, at the city’s magistrates court yesterday allowing them only to visit their homes on the estate.
Asbo officer Helen Smith told the bench Ali was an “incredibly intimidating” figure who led a gang of drug dealers and troublemakers so terrifying that Council officers, housing association workers and tradesmen were too scared to risk confronting him.
“People are in genuine fear of Mr Ali and Mr Saleem,” Mrs Smith said.
And she described how one shocking encounter with Mr Ali left a former policeman now working for the Council “petrified”.
During an attempt to stage an anti-drugs exhibition in Cockcroft Grove on September 11, Mr Ali verbally threatened staff and then followed the officer down a ginnel and menaced him so much that he returned “drained of colour”, Mrs Smith told the court.
“After what Mr Ali said to him he was scared so much he could hardly walk because his legs were shaking so much.
“Mr Ali is the person who runs drugs operations on the estate and Mr Saleem works for him,” she claimed, based on information the Council has received from anonymous residents too frightened to testify against the pair.
“Council and housing association staff and Police Community Service Officers have had to be withdrawn from the area as there has been so much concern for their safety due to threats and abuse from Mr Ali and Mr Saleem.
“The Accent Foundation housing association has had to employ a dog handler to escort workmen into the area. The whole community has been massively affected by the behaviour of these men.”
Saleem, of Cockroft Road, was not in court due to sickness. The Council’s case against him included incidents of him frightening residents by racing around the estate on a blue and yellow quad bike and also multiple cases of abusive and threatening behaviour.
Bearded Ali, in jeans and blue and grey hoodie, of Thryberg Street, argued against the imposition of the Asbo claiming: “If I’d been dealing drugs I would have surely been arrested by now. I haven’t been and I’ve never been charged with that.”
He also claimed to be a freelance car recovery driver who needed access to the estate, and that because he was on a suspended sentence from an early conviction for ABH, he would be sent back to jail if he broke the order.
This was rejected by magistrates who imposed the interim order to run until a full Asbo hearing on January 10.