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Friday, 25 July 2014

Chef who stabbed waiter in Ulverston jailed

AN illegal immigrant who stabbed a waiter four times at the restaurant where they both worked – and went on the run for five years – has been jailed.

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CRIME SCENE: Police at the British Raj restaurant in Ulverston after an altercation which resulted in chef, Fozlu Miah, stabbing his colleague, waiter Khalid Hussain, four times on January 4, 2007

Fozlu Miah was a chef at the British Raj in King Street, Ulverston, when he carried out the “savage” attack in January 2007.

His victim, Khalid Hussain, suffered wounds to his lower back and both arms.

Two arteries in his right arm were completely cut and tendons that controlled movement in a thumb, fingers and wrist were almost completely severed.

Preston Crown Court heard yesterday (Tuesday) that Miah disappeared for more than five years following the stabbing.

The matter was featured on the Crimewatch TV programme, but without a result.

He was arrested by chance during a raid at an address in Bethnal Green, London, that was linked to immigration inquiries.

His fingerprints were taken and matched those from his ID card that had been retrieved at Ulverston.

At the time of the offence he was 22 and Mr Hussain was 27.

Mr David Temkin, prosecuting, said Miah was an illegal immigrant who had no visa.

It had not been uncommon for the two men to argue with each other and Mr Hussain said he was often threatened by the defendant.

Miah made similar assertions of threats and bullying towards him. The Crown had accepted that.

On the evening of January 4, 2007 Mr Hussain entered the kitchen to inquire about a takeaway that had been ordered. An argument occurred between him and the defendant.

During that Mr Hussain said: “Come outside, I’ll sort you out.”

After that, Mr Hussain went on to urge him to hurry up because the customer had been waiting for some time. Miah responded rudely.

He went on to stab Mr Hussain to his lower back.

Mr Temkin said: “Mr Hussain moved his hands to try and protect himself from further attack and he tried to grab the knife from the defendant.

“At this point he was wounded a second time, this time to his right arm.

“He was chased by the defendant out of the kitchen and stabbed a third time, this time to the left arm.

“Immediately after that he was stabbed to the left side of the stomach or lower back.

“Mr Hussain estimates the four stabbings happened over around 10 seconds, during which he thought his life was in danger.”

The victim was first taken to hospital in Barrow and then moved to Preston. He went on to lose his job and even now struggles to hold a pen and can only use one hand to eat.

He said in a statement: “Had he not done this to me, my life would have taken a different course.”

Miah had long gone when police arrived at the scene. An employee handed police his ID card, which had some details and a photo.

Mr Temkin added: “The police used it to put on a Crimewatch UK broadcast on August 20 in 2007, with no result.

“By chance, the defendant was arrested five years and two months later in London, on March 27 this year, at an address in Bethnal Green. This was during a raid linked to immigration inquiries.”

The defendant went on to be transported to Barrow for interview. He spoke of having come to this country illegally in 1998.

Miss Kim Chiswick, defending, said Miah had lashed out due to factors that had been causing him stress.

There had been a degree of provocation and she said there was a lack of pre-meditation to the offence.

Miss Chiswick added: “It is clear he finds it very difficult to cope with what he has done.

“He can’t believe what he has done.

“This was extremely out of character. He has and continues to show remorse.”

Miah, aged 27, from Bangladesh, had pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Sentencing him to seven-and-a-half years in prison, Judge Andrew Woolman told Miah, who had an interpreter with him for the hearing, he may well have been angry, regularly insulted and challenged to a fight outside.

But, the judge said: “Your response was very savage.

“It isn’t surprising if Khalid Hussain thinks his whole life has been affected by what you did.

“I accept this was out of character for you. The offence is extremely serious.”

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