Sunderland man's knifepoint terror after former student smashes way into home in row over £10 debt

Syed Ahmed
Syed Ahmed

A former student who burst into a friend's home and lunged at him with a knife during a row over £10 has been put behind bars.

Syed Ahmed, 21, kicked down his former friend's door in the early hours of the morning, held a knife to his neck, tried to stab him with the blade and warned "I will kill you".

Newcastle Crown Court heard the men, who became pals while both studying at Sunderland College, had fallen out over a £10 unpaid debt .

The 21-year-old victim said he was "absolutely terrified" during the raid and now wants to move out of his home and "as far away as possible".

Ahmed, of Peel Street, Sunderland, who has a criminal record and was on a suspended sentence for a motoring offence, admitted having a bladed article and affray and has been jailed for 15 months, with a lifelong restraining order to keep him away from the victim.

Judge Robert Adams told him: "It was a very serious offence, you broke into someone's home, smashed your way through the door in the early hours of the morning, armed with a knife, held the knife to his throat while under the influence of drink and threatened to kill him.

"It is hard to imagine how anything could be more frightening, in the circumstances."

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court Ahmed had borrowed £10 from the man then "refused to pay it back", which resulted in "bad feeling".

The victim was at his city centre home watching television in the early hours of June 29 when Ahmed came to the door but was told to "go away".

Mr Pallister said Ahmed returned a short time later and started kicking the victim's door.

He added: "After three to four kicks the door was effectively kicked open, the door frame had smashed and the lock flew off.

"The defendant was holding a kitchen knife, he pointed it at the complainant.

"The defendant said 'I want to talk to you'.

"The complainant recalls the defendant being drunk. The defendant walked up to the complainant, pressed the knife to the complainant's neck.

"The complainant backed away and the defendant followed, keeping the knife pressed to his neck.

"He told the defendant to get out. The defendant said 'I will kill you'.

"He was lunging at the complainant with the knife, trying to stab him."

The court heard the victim was able to knock Ahmed's hand away when he came at him with the knife, which he said was quite blunt but with a pointed tip, and so suffered no injury before he was able to get out and raise the alarm.

The victim told police in a statement he was "absolutely terrified" during the raid and added it was "good luck" that he wasn't stabbed.

He added: "I live on my own. I have no-one to protect me.

"I have done nothing to Syed. I have no idea why he came to my flat and behaved like he did.

"I know, at the moment, he cannot hurt me as he's in prison but I am concerned his family or friends might do something to me.

"All i want to do now is move as far away as possible."

Nick Lane, defending, said alcohol is at the heart of Ahmed's offending and he said his actions that night were as a result of "being heavily under the influence".

Mr Lane said since being remanded in custody, Ahmed has completed courses, gained qualifications and become committed to turning his back on past behaviour.