A man working at DLA Piper has been sent to prison for a vicious homophobic attack.
Faisal Ahmed, who worked in DLA's London office in the reprographics team, was walking drunk through Soho last November when he spotted Sam Martin and his partner Tom Davies holding hands. Ahmed shouted, "you fucking gay boy
" at Martin and, when Davies turned and replied, "what
?", grabbed Martin by the throat.
Once Martin was released by Ahmed, he began to film the DLA worker on his mobile phone, prompting Ahmed to punch him in the back of the neck, put him in a headlock and pull him to the ground. After the assault the pair followed Ahmed to a pub on Tottenham Court Road and called the police. As he was arrested Ahmed shouted, “I punched him and he fucking deserved it”.
Ahmed, who claimed that he could not remember the incident, was found guilty of assault and sentenced to ten weeks in prison and two and half months in the community on licence.
DLA used outsourcing company Ricoh to employ Ahmed. Sources told RollOnFriday that Ricoh knew of Ahmed's attack and upcoming prosecution in November, but the company "happily continued to employ him within DLA
" and did not inform the firm. A DLA Piper spokeswoman said the firm did not become aware of Ahmed's situation until 25 February. As to whether Ricoh knew a lot earlier, DLA told RollOnFriday it has "begun an investigation with the supplier
DLA's spokeswoman said, "we are appalled by the behaviour of this individual and it goes without saying this conduct falls well below the standard expected from anyone who works for us, even as a temporary contractor, and we expect our suppliers to uphold the same standards as us
". She said, "valuing diversity and having respect for others are key values for the firm and an important part of our culture. We are proud of the work we do for the LGBT community both with our own people and for others through our pro bono work
Prison takes care of one problem for Ahmed. At the time of his conviction he was advertising on an accommodation website for a couch to sleep on because he didn't have anywhere to live. On his profile he claimed to like, improbably, "people who are open to new experiences and ideas, who do not allow prejudices to dominate their essence
". He also needs to update the 'One Amazing Thing I’ve Done' section. Instead of writing, "brutally attack a gay couple on camera
", he described the time he rescued an abandoned kitten from the side of a motorway. Heart of gold.