A former parish councillor is among five men who await sentencing after being found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm on a victim at a St Albans mosque.
A seven-week trial at St Albans Crown Court concluded on December 12 with the jury reaching a unanimous guilty verdict. Five defendants were found to have lured a man with baiting phone calls and social media messages to the Jamie Mosque on Hatfield Road on June 4, 2020. They then seriously assaulted him and lied to cover their tracks.
Mohammed Mortuza, 50, who previously served as a councillor on London Colney Parish Council (LCPC), not only partook in the attack on a 48-year-old St Albans man, but also perverted the course of justice by encouraging a co-defendant to lie to police.
Detective Constable Rob Davies, from the Local Crime Unit, said: “This was a serious assault which left a man with three broken ribs and he was in hospital for over two weeks. He was lured to the Jamie Mosque via a text message sent by Mohammed Mortuza. The five convicted men set upon him and then tried to cover up their crime.”
In May 2018, Labour candidate Mortuza was elected as a parish councillor for the Northwest Ward on LCPC, ousting the Conservative entrant by just one vote.
The following year, Mortuza ran to be a district councillor for Ashley Ward in St Albans and received 556 votes. He lost out to Liberal Democrat candidate Iqbal Zia, who received 1,411 votes.
Mortuza and his four accomplices will be sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, February 3.
LCPC has been contacted for comment.