Ex-Guantanamo detainee from East Ham attacked traffic warden

16:00 02 March 2012

A one-armed former Guantanamo Bay detainee who attacked a traffic warden who he thought was spying on him has been spared imprisonment.

Tarek Dergoul, of Holland Road, East Ham, was in a bicycle shop when he spotted warden John Onywera issuing a ticket.

The 33-year-old, who accuses his former American captors of beatings and intimidation, thought the warden was snooping on him when he took the pictures of his illegally parked car.

Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court was shown CCTV footage of Dergoul confronting Mr Onywera on the kerbside before charging at him in the middle of the road, grabbing him and attempting a judo-style trip.

Assisted by an unidentified accomplice, Dergoul pursued the warden to the other side of the road in Camden and started kicking his legs.

Forced to the ground under a hail of blows from the pair, the civil enforcement officer was forced to protect his camera and notebook evidence during the assault on August 6 last year.

Mr Onywera said: “First of all they said they were looking for change.

“But I told them I had already issued the penalty.

“I continued taking pictures to prove the car was parked. But when I crossed the road to take pictures, they came charging, saying I was taking pictures of them.

‘Throwing punches’

“He tried to trip me three times and then he was kicking and throwing punches.

“On the other side of the road they were both attacking me. I had injuries to my nose and jaw.

“I lost control and I fell to the ground and one of them sat on me and continued hitting me. I wasn’t sure who was attacking me.”

From the dock Dergoul interrupted the testimony, shouting: “Why did you aggravate the situation taking the pictures?”

He was found guilty of assault by beating.

Judge Nina Tempia said: “The traffic warden was acting correctly in taking the photo of the car. This was an assault on a public servant carrying out his duties.”

Dergoul was sentenced to a 12-month community order, which includes a mental health requirement and supervision order, both for six months.

He was ordered to pay the traffic warden compensation of £30, which will be deducted from his benefits at the rate of £10 a fortnight.

Dergoul was detained in Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks.

He says he was trying to deal in cheap property when he lost an arm in an explosion. He was sent to Guantanamo, from where he was freed in March 2004.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crime news

Friday, April 17, 2015
Do you recognise this man? British Transport Police want to speak to him [Photo by British Transport Police]

Police are trying to identify a man they believe pretended to be asleep as he groped a woman on a late night train from Paddington to Oxford.

Friday, April 17, 2015
British Transport Police would like to speak to this man in connection with the assault on the west London tram [Photo from British Transport Police]

A 17-year-old girl was sexually assaulted on a London tram travelling between Belgrave Walk and Wimbledon.

Friday, April 17, 2015
The two teens were taken to hospital with stab wounds Pic: @BotanglesK

Young men chased by biker gang - one carrying a 2ft sword

Friday, April 17, 2015
Mohammed Faisal Riasat has been jailed after police found drugs in his underpants

A drug dealer who complained that police would make his mum cry after they discovered a haul of Class A drugs in his boxer shorts has been jailed.

Friday, April 17, 2015
A murder investigation is underway after a man was stabbed in Lea Bridge Road, Leyton

A murder investigation is underway after a fatal stabbing in Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, last night.

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Anyone with any information about the attack should contact the police [Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images]

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a man was badly injured in an attack on Teddington footbridge.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...