A RESTAURANT owner has spoken of how he was convicted of kidnapping after trying to help a relative who was battered by her husband.
Mohammed Motiur Rahman-Minto was arrested after travelling from Edinburgh to Manchester to speak to the man about the violence.
The 43-year-old, along with a friend, turned up at the family home and asked the husband to accompany him to their car.
They then drove him around for half an hour – which the man claimed was against his will – and were later reported to the police.
Mr Rahman-Minto, who owns the popular Abida Restaurant and a stake in St John’s Curry Club in Corstorphine, was handed a community service order from a court in Bolton after the incident.
Today he insisted he was a “good man” who was trying to protect a female relative from suffering at the hands of her husband.
He told the Evening News: “It was a family matter I was trying to sort out. [A relative] had been beaten up two or three times by her husband.
“She came to Edinburgh where she came to my house. I wanted to help so I went to his house. I tried to reason with him and I asked to talk to him. He said no.
“I asked for a chance [to talk to him] for five minutes. I’m not a bad man. I said ‘OK, come to my car, just for half an hour’.
“When I left him, the police phoned me. I went to the police station three or four weeks after [the incident]. They gave me a kidnapping charge.”
“My relative is separated from her husband now.”
Mr Rahman-Minto, from Corstorphine, was left with a criminal record after the incident three years ago, but his conviction only emerged when he was hauled before the Edinburgh licensing board for failing to mention the incident when he renewed his business licence.
The charge of kidnapping – known as abduction in Scots law – was not listed on the original application and only emerged after police conducted background checks.
Councillors then took the charge into account during the hearing this week.
The board – comprised of police, council licensing officials, health experts and councillors – was told by lawyer Alistair Macdonald that his client had no history of violence and regretted the incident.
He added: “He dealt with this as he thought proper but it has clearly had implications. Obviously kidnapping is a serious offence and he is embarrassed personally.”
Board member Chas Booth, a Leith councillor, told the hearing: “The prospect of being taken for a drive against your will is pretty terrifying. However, in this case there do appear to have been some mitigating circumstances which the board needs to take into account.”
He added afterwards: “Obviously the board has to take very seriously any reports from the police against convictions and when we heard this gentleman’s conviction there was a feeling among the vast majority of members this was something quite serious.
“When the details became clearer the view of the majority of the board was, bearing in mind the circumstances, he was entitled to a second chance.”