THE Halesowen Yemeni Association has backed a committee member and youth worker who has been convicted of affray.

Wail Shaddad, from Drews Holloway, was a ringleader of an armed mob who attacked three men and a woman two years ago in Halesowen.

After being delayed for two years the case was finally heard at Wolverhampton Crown Court and 25-year-old Shaddad and three friends pleaded guilty and given a suspended sentence.

However, the chairman of the Halesowen Yemeni Community Association Marwan Bakaili told the News Shaddad will continue his duties at the Highfields centre.

He said: “We all make mistakes. Wail Shaddad has done a lot of great work in the community with youngsters doing his youth work.

“He is a good man who has also done lots of crime prevention work with the local police and we are proud that he is a member of the committee and will continue to work with our youngsters.”

Shaddad has met several local politicians and dignitaries through his work at the association including Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP James Morris .

At Wolverhampton Crown Court earlier this month Judge Amjad Nawaz told Shaddad and Mohammed Ali, aged 22 and Abdulwahab Ali, 25, both of Yew Tree Road and Ali Hassan Ali, aged 26, of Islington, were lucky not to be imprisoned.

They were all sentenced to 52 week jail term suspended for two years, each told to carry out 150 hours community service and to contribute towards the £800 compensation awarded to one of the attacked men.

The court heard that the four defendants had not been in trouble with the police since the incident and this helped them avoid jail.