Iranian refugee intended to slash his ex-girlfriend’s tyres with knife when caught in Sunderland

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A MAN was caught hanging around near his ex-girlfriend’s house while armed with a large knife.

Ali Sharifa was seen hiding the deadly weapon, which had a seven-inch blade, up his sleeve while walking along Pennywell Road, in Sunderland.

The 35-year-old was arrested and confessed he had planned to slash the tyres of his former partner’s car but was not intending any violence.

Sharifa, an Iranian refugee, of Gray Road, Sunderland, admitted having a bladed article in connection with the incident, which happened on January 3.

Mr Recorder Eric Elliott sentenced him to nine months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 100 hours unpaid work.

The judge said: “I am told you did not have any intention to use the knife for violent purposes but you intended to cause some damage.

“Whatever be the true situation it is a very worrying position.

“Your state of mind must have been such that your behaviour on that occasion, carrying that knife, would have been highly unpredictable.

“One of the reasons the courts regard carrying knives in these circumstances as a serious matter is because of the unpredictable events that might follow.”

The judge said the prison sentence could be suspended in this case because of Sharifa’s guilty plea, lack of previous convictions and positive pre-sentence report from the probation service.

Stuart Graham, defending, said Sharifa was a taxi driver in his home country and had been tortured by the secret service while in prison for 10 days over a documentation mix-up.

Mr Graham said Sharifa, who said he did not realise it was illegal to carry a knife in public, had paid £6,000 to be brought into the UK through Dover in a lorry.

Mr Graham added: “He had gone there hoping he would be able to damage the tyres of an ex girlfriend’s car because of a nasty fall out.

“He was walking up and down and could not pluck up the courage to do it.

“There was never any intention to use it for any violent means.”

Twitter: @sunderlandecho