A Syrian has been jailed after stabbing a man multiple times in a ‘ferocious’ attack launched just two months after being flown into Britain with his family as a refugee by UK taxpayers.
Fahed Shamery was sentenced at Chester Crown Court to two years prison after inflicting “severe stab wounds” on a neighbour in a ‘sustained and prolonged attack’, which he reportedly told police would be seen as “unremarkable” and “normal culture” in Syria.
The jury heard that the incident took place on June 3, beginning in the living room of Shamery’s Chester home where the 35-year-old struck Tomasz Podstawka with a knife during an altercation.
The victim then “ran outside to make his escape,” prosecutor Nicholas Williams told the court. “But he ended up in the backyard of the property from which there was no way out.
“He was assaulted on a number of further occasions by the defendant with a knife, who was slashing him to the top of the head, to the bicep, and also a stab wound to the armpit.”
Judge Nicholas Woodward said Podstawka “has clearly suffered serious injury and pain”, commenting that photographs of the victim’s injuries demonstrated “the ferocity of the attack”.
“He has also suffered psychological damage and members of the public who witnessed your actions were terrified by what they saw,” stated the judge, sentencing.
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Covered in blood from the attack, Shamery was arrested after neighbours called police, and experts said the Syrian was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Judge Woodward said the condition might explain the his initial attack — which the refugee claimed was launched in self-defence — but that the diagnosis failed to account for the sustained nature of his assault.
“You believe your actions in that courtyard were not unreasonable and would have raised little complaint in Syria.
“I find it difficult to believe that attacking a person in such a savage manner with a knife would be treated almost as a matter of indifference in Syria.
“You must understand that in this country it’s a serious crime and must be dealt with accordingly.”
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Defending, Michael Whitty said that his client was struggling with life in a foreign prison since his arrest, and stressed that the family had suffered traumas in Syria, where Shamery said he was detained and tortured.
“Until recently he was a hard-working family man in Syria who had employees.
“These things were taken from him before he left,” he told the jury.
While the judge accepted that the defendant was “adjusting from life in a war zone to a new country and culture”, he said he agreed with experts who assessed Shamery to present a “high level of risk” to the public.
“I accept that the incident started by you acting in order to defend yourself.
“However, it was what happened outside the house when you had your victim trapped in a back yard and you used a long-bladed kitchen knife to subject him to a sustained and prolonged attack that took place in full view of members of your family and the local community,” Judge Woodward said.