A mentally ill man demanded that a young girl marry him before attacking her parents at the family home, a court has heard. Muhammad Safdar, 43, is accused of stalking a teenager from the time she was a schoolgirl and had visited her South London house on “numerous occasions” with gifts and flowers.
Appearing today at Inner London Crown Court, jurors heard that Safdar first became interested in the girl, then aged 18, in 2014. He was a local shopkeeper and started to give her sweets, before he allegedly began a “persistent” stalking campaign towards her and her family.
He would regularly leave gifts such as expensive makeup and flowers outside her home in West Norwood, and would repeatedly visit her parents to ask for her hand in marriage, the court heard. According to her mum, he would come “every two or three days and the longest he would leave it was a week”, leading her to fear for her child’s safety.
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Matters came to a head in July 2019 when he allegedly entered into a confrontation with the teen’s dad, who told him that his daughter had moved away and was in a relationship. In anger, he punched the glass in their front door, the court heard and allegedly taunted “I’m not scared of the police” when the father threatened to call the emergency services.
Safdar, who was already married, was said to of continued to visit their house and on October 20, had tried to barge into the home, demanding the girl’s new address. After allegedly pushing the teen’s mum, he became “embroiled in a fight” with her dad, who tried to push him out of the property. He allegedly punched him in the eye, before jumping on top of him and striking him on the head.
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The dad said he was left with a “bloodied eye”, bruising and grazing on his elbows, causing him to blackout. Safdar is also said to have returned the following day and on October 25 to “bang loudly” on the door, causing the girl’s 13-year-old sister to call the police.
Speaking at court today, her mum said Safdar’s constant appearances at their family home had led her to see a doctor for anxiety. “I was scared, I was experiencing panic attacks, I had a tightness in my chest and I was so scared,” she said.
Prosecutor Andrew Dowden told the jury: “He became obsessed with their daughter, he wanted to marry her, she wasn’t interested and is now in a relationship. She was never interested in the defendant. Simply, the defendant became obsessed with her.”
He was eventually arrested and charged with stalking and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, both of which he denied. He is currently remanded into custody under a hospital order.
The trial continues.