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Asylum seeker wanted to "kill English people"


An Afghan asylum seeker who attacked three people at random with a knife was 'fuelled' by a desire to kill English people, a court has heard.


Samiulahaq Akbari, 32, is accused of swinging a 10ins kitchen knife at three 'total strangers' within a 10-minute period in Thornton Heath and Croydon in south London after 'demanding to know their nationality'.

Jurors at the Old Bailey in London were told he approached the first alleged victim, Nicholas Speight, in a Tesco Extra in Thornton Heath on January 8, tapping him on the shoulder.

After Mr Speight confirmed he was English, Akbari allegedly 'took a powerful swing at him' with the blade. 

Prosecutor Heidi Stonecliffe said Mr Speight could not have known that 'events would unfold with such frightening speed' following that 'fateful reply'.

She claimed Akbari 'settled on him because Mr Speight was English'.

Ms Stonecliffe added: '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.'

Despite only lasting a matter of seconds, jurors heard it was more 'by luck rather than any design' that Mr Speight managed to kick Akbari off and escape from the attack without a mark on him.

Within 10 minutes or so he allegedly pulled a knife on two other men 'fuelled with the same intention' in Croydon; first in the Kebabish restaurant and then in the Plough on the Pond pub.

He allegedly accosted John Hoy as he sat at a table with three friends getting ready to eat having just come from a pool tournament at the pub nearby.

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

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, who was on his way out clutching his pool cue and case.

Jurors were shown CCTV footage of him marching Mr Watkins back inside where Akbari similarly demanded to know their nationality.

Ms Stonecliffe added: 'He and his friends replied that they were English, at which point the defendant started lunging at them with the knife.

The group 'perhaps somewhat heroically' managed to wedge a table between them and the knifeman, forcing Akbari again to flee.

Akbari, of Thornton Heath, south London, denies attempted murder and wounding with intent against Mr Speight and threatening Mr Hoy with an offensive weapon.

Jurors were told he has admitted two charges of affray over the altercations with Mr Hoy and Mr Watkins along with threatening Mr Watkins with an offensive weapon, namely the knife.

Ms Stonecliffe told jurors Akbari is expected to say he was 'too drunk' to form any intention to kill.

But she said his actions were 'deliberate and considered'.

The trial continues.