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Ditta in the clear
A COUNCILLOR who threatened to dig up a man’s dead body during a row with his grieving family will not face prosecution for harassment.
The Crown Prosecution Service, which has been reviewing the incident, has sent a letter to police chiefs stating that no charge will be brought.
As your Worcester News reported last August, Mr Ditta was secretly recorded launching a tirade of abuse at the Muslim cemetery in Perdiswell. In the recording, he threatened to get get a digger and pull out the body unless a family paid £400 towards the maintenance of a grave for Monuhor Ali, who died aged 74.
Mr Ditta was formally interviewed by police shortly before Christmas.
Mr Ali’s family have hit out at the news, saying they are “bitterly disappointed” with the decision. Mr Ditta said: “It’s very welcome news. I’ve said all along there was nothing there for the police to investigate.
“I still go down to the cemetery, there’s nothing to stop me going. I’ve helped out on three or four graves since it happened.”
Ruhal Hussain, aged 41, and one of Mr Ali’s seven children, said: “We had just lost a loved one and what happened was very distressing for us.
“It was disgusting for a public figure to behave like that, we all thought it was out of order. I’m very surprised they aren’t charging him for the abuse.”
In the recording he was heard shouting “dig it up” after Mr Hussain refused to pay the bill, which Mr Ditta said was for preparing the grave in accordance with Islamic tradition.
The family insisted he did no work on the grave, which the politician denies, and as of today the demand is still unpaid.
Mr Ditta remains a Conservative city and county councillor, with party chiefs refusing to kick him out on the basis his work at the cemetery is done on a private, voluntary basis.
Complaints to both councils have also been rejected on the same grounds.
Councillor Lucy Hodgson, chairman of Worcester Conservative Association, said: “The party support Allah Ditta and we’ve all moved forward – we also investigated it and he’s got nothing to answer for.”
The CPS refused to comment, but a spokesman for West Mercia Police said: “They have decided to take no further action in regards to any public order offence in connection with this incident.”