Two Tarot card readers were threatened at knifepoint in their home after they were accused of fleecing a woman out of large sums of money for fraudulent spiritual readings, Bradford Crown Court heard today.

An unidentified man brandished a flick knife when troubled flared at the Bradford house, prosecutor Ayesha Smart said.

Before the court were Naser Riaz, 43, and his son, Mohammed Daniaal, 20, both of Jesmond Avenue, Heaton, Bradford, who pleaded guilty to affray on September 1, 2018.

Miss Smart said Riaz and his unnamed accomplice were angry with the male victims who were paid for Tarot card readings, scriptural interpretations and astrology forecasts.

Riaz booked a card reading at the house in the Manningham area and then demanded that they retract advice they had given to his ex-wife. The other man produced the knife which the Crown accepted neither Riaz nor his son had any knowledge of.

Daniaal only joined the incident at a later stage after his father rang him and asked him to come to the address.

Riaz’s barrister, Rebecca Young, said his ex-wife had been “abusive, goading and aggressive,” in the run-up to the affray.

The card readers had told her that Riaz had put a spell on her and used magic that was poisonous.

“This is an extremely exceptional case,” Miss Young stated.

Riaz was provoked by his former wife who allegedly had mental health problems and had conducted rituals in the back garden at midnight.

He booked the card reading to find out if the victims were “fuelling” the situation. She had handed over “an enormous amount of money” for the sessions and he was at the end of his tether, Miss Young said.

During the card reading that Riaz booked he was told he was “possessed” and needed to shell out a large amount of money.

He wanted to stop it happening to others and for his ex-wife to be told that he wasn’t possessed, but he was met with aggression, Miss Young said.

A fight broke out in which the victims received minor injuries.

Riaz was a hard-working family man with no previous convictions. The offence was wholly out of character and “driven by desperation.”

Samreen Akhtar, Daniaal’s barrister, said he felt the victims were duping his mother for fraudulent spiritual readings. He became involved only at the end of the incident.

Judge Colin Burn sentenced Riaz to three months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

Daniaal was sentenced to a 12 month community order with a rehabilitation activity requirement.

Both men were ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid work and to pay £150 each towards the prosecution costs.

Judge Burn said the affray was almost two and a half years ago.

Riaz felt that the advice or interpretations of the scriptures was “adding fuel to the fire” with his estranged wife who was very bitter towards him.

“The advice was not remotely helpful in trying to diffuse the situation,” Judge Burn said.

Riaz wanted the victims to withdraw what they had said to her. He did not know that his accomplice had a knife.

Daniaal responded to his father’s phone call asking him to go to the house at the end of the incident.