Call for review of riot verdict

Hundreds of people have gathered outside a police headquarters calling for a review of a criminal trial which saw eight men cleared of murdering three friends who were killed in last summer's riots.

Haroon Jahan and brothers Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir died after being hit by a car as they tried to protect shops in Winson Green, Birmingham, from looters last August.

Eight men were accused of murdering them in a "modern day chariot charge" but were acquitted by a jury last Thursday, following a lengthy trial at Birmingham Crown Court. The families of the victims have instructed lawyers to review the trial and on Thursday said the verdict had left them in "utter shock and despair".

Around 250 people staged a peaceful protest outside the headquarters of West Midlands Police in central Birmingham before marching to the city's crown court.

Family and friends of the victims chanted "we want justice" and many in the crowd wore t-shirts bearing the names of the three men who died.

Haroon Jahan's brother Tahir said: "If I was to run over a dog ... that dog would get justice. My three brothers haven't got justice."

Haroon's father, Tariq Jahan, who made an emotional plea for calm just hours after the deaths, addressed the gathered crowd and repeated his plea to the community to remain peaceful.

He said: "We're not giving up this fight for the boys. I believe that we will get some sort of justice. We're going to fight but we're going to fight the legal way, I don't want anybody to do anything silly or naive.

"We can keep this mentality going, as long as I've got your support which I am really grateful for. I don't know what kind of words to use to say thank you to you, everybody here. Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart from the whole family, both families."

He added: "we're not giving up the fight for justice. If we don't get justice for these three innocent men who tried to protect their homes, their area, their community, if we can't get justice for them then I doubt there is anybody here that we will ever get true justice for."