The owner of a controversial pizza shop convicted of stabbing a customer appeared back in court – this time alongside two of his staff charged with carrying offensive weapons.
Bakhir Ahmed Ali, owner of UK Pizza in Yoden Way, Peterlee, and employees Saman Karimi and Mohammad Ali Sharif, were captured on town centre CCTV chasing customers while brandishing the weapons.
They were due to face a trial at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court for possessing offensive weapons – Ali a heavy duty belt, Karimi a broom and Sharif an iron bar.
But Ali, 24, of Yoden Way, Peterlee, admitted the offence and was fined £200, Karimi, 32, of Dunsmuir Grove, Gateshead, pleaded guilty and was fined £110 and Sharif, 28, of Sunderland Street, Houghton-le-Spring, went to trial and his case was dismissed as prosecutors offered no evidence.
Justices heard that during the incident, on October 14 last year, a dispute broke out between staff and a customer who claimed he had been short-changed. He left the shop, returning a short time later with three other men.
There are varied accounts of what happened, but staff said the group were being racially abusive. The group left and were chased by staff carrying weapons. There were no complaints of any assaults.
Ali was given a suspended sentence earlier this year after admitting unlawful wounding. Durham Police blocked a late-licence application after attending 17 yobbish or violent incidents at the shop in two years.