Afghan asylum seeker Samiualahq Akbari, who asked victims if they were “English” before attempting to stab them, has been jailed
The Old Bailey in London heard during the trial in July that 32-year-old Akbari had called his cousin whilst drunk on January 8th, saying that he wanted to “kill English people” before going to three different locations looking for victims.
That night, Akbari entered a kebab shop on London Road in Croydon, south London, and approached two customers, asking them were they were from. When they did not answer, the asylum seeker went behind the counter and grabbed a 10-inch kitchen knife which he waved in one of the customer’s faces.
He then entered the Plough-on-the-Pond pub where he asked customers the same question before threatening pub-goers with the blade. Akbari then went into a Tesco Extra where he asked a complete stranger, Nicholas Speight, where he was from.
When Speight gave what the prosecution described as his “fateful reply” — that he was “English” — events “unfold[ed] with such frightening speed” with the Afghan asylum seeker lunging at his victim, taking a “powerful swing at him” with the knife a number of times, with Mr Speight being forced to the ground.
Video footage revealed that “by luck rather than any design”, he was able to move out of the way of the blade as it came down on him before kicking Akbari away. The Afghan then got to his feet and calmly walked out of the supermarket following this third failed attempt to kill someone.
The knifeman was later arrested, after Akbari’s cousin had called police, telling a 999 operator in transcripts read out to the court: “He said he wants to kill the English people. I can see his eyes, he’s serious.”
“He will do it. He’s trying to run and he will kill someone. Please come quickly,” he said.
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On July 5th, Akhbari was found guilty of attempted murder and on Thursday, August 15th, he was sentenced to 21 years in prison.
Detective Constable Chris Dimmer, of South Area CID, said: “It’s clear that Akbari was malicious in his intention to injure as many people as possible.”
“He specifically sought to identify and target people from a certain nationality and to cause them as much harm as possible.”
On Wednesday, Akbari was also sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment for committing affray in the kebab shop, another 12 months for committing affray at the pub, and a 20 month and 30 month sentence for the two charges of threatening another person with an offensive weapon. In addition, he was sentence to four years in jail for four counts of criminal damage with intent to endanger life for a separate and earlier incident when he threw rocks from a footbridge overlooking a dual carriageway in Basildon in May, 2018.
As all the other sentences will be served concurrently to 21 years for attempted murder — and not consecutively — and given the Britain’s current standard practice of automatic releasing prisoners on licence at the halfway point in determinate sentences he will likely only serve 10 and a half years in prison.
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