Pizza shop owner stabbed abusive customer

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A TAKEAWAY owner who stabbed an abusive customer has been spared jail.

Bakir Ahmed Ali attacked the 33-year-old man after a confrontation inside UK Pizza in Yoden Way, Peterlee, Durham Crown Court heard.

“The customer walked into the shop some time after 2am,” said Robin Turton, prosecuting. “Staff formed the impression he was drunk.

“He told them to go back to their own country, and said they were the reason his mam couldn’t get a job.

“Ali attempted to fight with him, but was restrained by staff.”

The court heard Ali followed the man outside where there was another confrontation in which he stabbed the man in the upper arm.

“It seems Ali then locked the shop and left,” added Mr Turton.

“He told staff not to speak to the police, and said he would make sure no CCTV footage would be available.”

Ali, 24, of Buckingham Road, Peterlee, admitted unlawful wounding, and possessing an offensive weapon, on February 2.

He was of previous good character.

Robin Patton, defending, said in mitigation: “There are no long-term effects on the victim.

“Mr Ali came to this country as an asylum seeker at a young age after most of his family were murdered in Iraq.

“He has worked hard to establish the business and now has three shops.

“Many customers have written testimonials on his behalf.

“The provocation in this case was so extreme it must lessen his culpability.”

The Recorder, Neil Davey, sentenced Ali to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

“You could not complain if you went to prison today,” said the recorder.

“But you acted out of character in the face of gross provocation.

“Taking all matters into consideration, I am able to suspend the sentence.”

Ali was ordered to pay £900 costs and £100 victim impact surcharge.