A man who claims he is trying to ‘better himself’ after he was jailed for assault has been told he cannot run a takeaway in Gorton because of his past crimes.
Omar Masood, who applied to transfer the premises license for Bhatti Jee in Hyde Road to his name, has had his request to Manchester council refused.
A public council meeting heard he was jailed for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon – but Masood said he left prison ‘really different’.
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Masood, who received a five-year sentence in 2018, said he made a ‘massive mistake’ when he assaulted a man who he says his ex-partner had been cheating on him with – but he claimed he was trying to ‘protect’ his children.
He now runs a ‘caring cafe’ in Bardsley which runs programs for the community and holds events for associated projects at a hall in Denton.
However, Greater Manchester Police objected to his application to take over the license for a takeaway due to his previous convictions which are still ‘live’.
Speaking at a licensing hearing on Monday (February 14), Masood told councilors that he is not a violent criminal and claimed the conflict at his marital home was a ‘crime of passion’ aimed at ‘protecting’ his children.
He said: “People make mistakes and come out and try to better themselves. I too am in the process of doing so. Within that I’m trying to help as many other people as possible. Mental health, employment, whatever.
“I’m not saying I’m your local Robin Hood but as somebody who’s been on the other side, I’m in a position to help other people. That’s all I’m trying to do.
“I’m securing something for the benefit of my children’s future. It’s a food business. There’s no risk of alcohol or late nights or anything that will affect the public in a negative manner.
“I’m just here trying to better myself and the future of Greater Manchester.”
Masood was released from prison in March 2020 and is now deemed ‘low risk’.
He told councilors that he did not use any weapon during the assault which took place two years earlier – but a Greater Manchester Police representative informed the panel that the offensive weapon in question was a baseball bat.
PC Alan Isherwood requested that the application is rejected on the grounds that these convictions are still ‘live’ – and one will be until September 2028.
He also said that Masood is currently on bail for another incident which is currently being investigated – but this was not part of the police’s objection.
Gorton and Abbey Hey councilor Julie Reid, who chaired the licensing hearing, expressed frustration that the latest allegation could legally not be discussed.
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She said: “I find it really difficult to make a decision. I legally know we can’t discuss it, but I find it very difficult.
“If we can’t discuss it legally, then we can’t. But I have a problem with that.”
The licensing sub committee hearing panel decided to refuse the application on the grounds that there are still two live convictions relating to the applicant.
The premises is understood to have changed use several times, including as a barber shop and food store, since it was operating as the Bhatti Jee takeaway.
The license granted for the takeaway in 2006 allowed the premises to open until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays and 12.30am during the rest of the week.
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