The Metropolitan Police have warned a Pakistani national of prosecution and possible jail if he attempted to film the children of Hasan Nawaz Sharif.
The warning came after a film of his sons, aged five and 10 years, went viral on the social media on August 6.
Details have emerged of the police operation that was launched on the complaint relating to Hasan Nawaz Sharif’s children after Shahbaz Ayub Qureshi, of Milliners Way, Luton, made a video of Hasan’s sons while he was shopping with his wife and minor children at Morrisons Supermarket and uploaded it on his social media accounts.
The same footage of Hasan Nawaz, his wife and the two boys was aired on at least two televisions and dozens of social media accounts without the consent of the parents, in breach of laws that protect minors under 16 in England and Wales.
On August 6, Hasan Nawaz and his sons were shopping at Morrisons when Qureshi approached Nawaz and struck up a conversation, before starting to speak impolitely and filming the children, as shown in the video footage.
The conversation was cordial at the beginning, but after 10 seconds Qureshi became abusive towards Hasan and filmed him, disappearing into the area accessible only to staff.
The police were informed after footage of children were seen on the social media, police sources have confirmed.
Qureshi was informed that upon entering a supermarket on a private shopping trip, Hasan Nawaz’s sons had a reasonable expectation of privacy and no expectation that a film recording would be made and published online, and that filming minors was a criminal act under Harassment Act 1998.
A person guilty of the offence of harassment is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment.
Qureshi has given a written undertaking to the authorities, confirming that recording and publishing footage of Sharif’s children without consent of a parent was both wrong and likely to contrary to the law of England and Wales.
“I will make no attempt to approach or otherwise contact Sharif or any member of his family again and I apologise unreservedly to Sharif and his family for my actions,” he added.
Qureshi admitted deliberately recording footage of Sharif’s children without consent of the parents and circulating it on his social media platforms, but said he did not know it was an illegal act.
“I removed the footage immediately from my social media sites and contacted nearly a dozen websites to take it off from their sites.
“I am contacting more websites to make sure that this footage is taken off where minor children are shown unpixelated.
“I have learnt the lesson and I have admitted that I was wrong in my actions,” he said.
Hasan Nawaz’s lawyer also wrote to Qureshi and warned him of the consequences of filming of children and causing harm to them as the faces of children were clearly visible in the video.
When approached for comment, Hasan Nawaz confirmed that a video of his children was circulated online, causing concern and leading to policer action.
He said: “I have been filmed hundreds of time and discussed in media, which is perfectly fine and there cannot be objection to that.
“However, minors out of the public eye should be spared and not dragged into political fights.
“I was approached by the police and I confirmed that the video was made against our consent and unknown to us.
“I have nothing personal against the person who made the film after he confirmed he will not approach the minors again and tendered a written apology.”
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