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WOMAN SAVES DAD FROM KNIFE GANG; Gang of armed youths attack disabled man at his house.

Byline: By SAM CASEY Crime Reporter

A COWARDLY gang held a disabled man at knifepoint as they ransacked his house - only to be scared away by his daughter.

The three youths forced Zahid Iqbal, who has suffered numerous strokes, to the ground when he answered the door to them on Sunday night.

One held a knife to his throat as the others searched his Birkby house for valuables.

But they were forced to flee with only a briefcase full of worthless documents when they were chased out by Mr Iqbal's daughter Ravia, 20.

Det Insp Phil Benson, who is investigating the incident, said: "This was a despicable attack on a gentleman minding his own business in his own home. We would appeal to the community of Birkby to come forward with information to help our investigation."

Father-of-four Mr Iqbal, 49, was at home at King Cliffe Road when there was a knock at his door at about 8.30pm on Sunday.

Ravia was asleep upstairs and the rest of his family were out for dinner, so he walked to the door with the aid of a walking stick.

When he answered it one of the youths asked for someone who does not live at the house.

They pushed him over and one of them threatened him with a knife while the others ran upstairs.

Huddersfield University social work student Ravia said: "I had been out doing a charity walk during the afternoon and had gone to sleep when I got back.

"I didn't know anything had happened until somebody came into my room.

"I thought it was my brother, but he was making a lot of noise so I looked up. I don't think he realised I was there.

"I said: 'What do you think you're doing?'

"He ran out and I chased him downstairs. I knew my dad was here and he's not well so I was really concerned for him.

"I wasn't scared - they were only teenagers."

The trio escaped before Ravia could catch them.

Mr Iqbal was shaken but unhurt.

All three youths were Asian and believed to be in their mid to late teens.

One was about 5ft 9ins tall, slim, with short, black hair, a large pointed nose and clean shaven. His face was slimmer down to the chin. He was wearing grey tracksuit bottoms and a plain black top.

The second was about 5ft 8ins tall and of medium build. The third was about 6ft tall and slim.

Anyone with information should call Huddersfield CID on 01484 436664 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

CAPTION(S):

APPEAL: Det Insp Phil Benson is leading the hunt
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Mar 17, 2009
Words:441
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