Afghan asylum seeker with ‘desire to kill English’ jailed for Tesco knife attack

An Afghan asylum seeker who was 'fuelled' by a desire to kill English people was caught on CCTV wielding a knife in a Tesco Extra.

Samiulahaq Akbari, 22, who arrived the UK in 2016 after fleeing Afghanistan, was yesterday jailed for 19 years with an extended licence period of two years.

Security camera video on January 8 shows Akbari walking into the supermarket in Thornton Heath, south London behind customer Nicholas Speight.

He taps on Mr Speight's shoulder and asks of his nationality.

Shortly after Mr Speight told him that he was from the UK, Akbari took out a 10-inch kitchen knife and attempted to stab at the victim.

As they fought, the pair fell to the ground and Mr Speight managed to kick Akbari off before escaping without any injuries.

A court has heard that Akbari had previously pulled a knife on two other men – first in a kebab restaurant and the second in the Plough on the Pond pub in Croydon.

Prosecutor Heidi Stonecliffe told jurors: "On that evening in January this year this defendant had set out deliberately to threaten, harm and kill members of the public by virtue of their nationality, or what Mr Akbari perceived to be their nationality – they were English."

Akbari was convicted of attempted murder over the rampage which took place just 12 days after he was released from prison for another assault.

Judge Mark Dennis QC, who jailed him for 19 years, said: "The report on you says you have a deep seated fixation which gave rise to serious violent situations when in drink.

"It was pure chance that no serious injuries were caused in the attempts to cause serious harm or killing someone."

Akbari had first accosted John Hoy as he sat at a table in the kebab restaurant with three pals getting ready to eat having just come from a pool tournament at the pub nearby.

Jurors heard he 'aggressively and repeatedly' asked Mr Hoy where he was from before going behind the counter, arming himself with the huge red-handled knife and lunging at him.

One of the men tried to calm Akbari by saying Mr Hoy was 'one of us' but it was only when the men fought back that Akbari fled, Ms Stonecliffe said.

Akbari then made his way up to the pub where he confronted Barry Watkins as he was on his way out clutching his pool cue and case.


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