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Sean Gorman, 18, admitted stabbing Shabaz Ali, 25, who suffered life-threatening injuries in the attack after being subjected to racist abuse.

Shabaz Ali, pictured in hospital after the brutal knife attack (Image: PA/Daily Record)

Shabaz Ali, pictured in hospital after the brutal knife attack (Image: PA/Daily Record)

A teenager has admitted the racially-aggravated attempted murder of a Syrian refugee in Edinburgh .

Shabaz Ali was stabbed in an argument with Sean Gorman at a hostel in Upper Gilmore Place in the early hours of Thursday May 3.

Ali, 25, had fled to Scotland five years ago with his family and was working as a barber and staying in the hostel as he looked for a new home.

Police Scotland said Gorman, 18, had been visiting the hostel and that Ali called at his room due to loud noise.

Gorman made threats and racially abused the victim before stabbing him and leaving the property.

He was traced a short time later in Duff Street and arrested, with a lock knife recovered.

The 18-year-old pled guilty to racially-aggravated attempted murder as well as causing racially aggravated alarm to another woman within the hostel at the High Court in Edinburgh on Thursday, Police Scotland said.

The charity Positive Action in Housing have supported the Ali family and released pictures of Shabaz in critical care at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after the attack.

His father Sivan told the charity he could hear his sons’ attacker shout: “Why are you still here, why are you not back in your own country?”

Campaigners set up an online appeal for donations “to help Shahbaz recover and rebuild his life” with more than £12,000 raised.

Gorman will be sentenced in August.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Grainger said: “Gorman’s violence was extreme and left the victim with significant, life-threatening injuries. He showed utter disregard for the victim and another woman who was with him – made all the worse given the appalling racist language used.

“Whilst this attack happened within a private property, it gained a great deal of public and media interest and I’m pleased that Gorman has been brought to justice so quickly.

“Edinburgh is a vibrant place where people of different nationalities, faiths and backgrounds live together and the support shown by the local community for the victim and his family is far more indicative of the city’s inclusivity than this one isolated incident.

“We work closely with all the different groups and communities across Edinburgh and hate crime and violence of this nature are roundly condemned. I hope that today’s conviction helps the victim and his family to move past this terrible attack and I wish them well.”

Ali’s solicitor Aamer Anwar said a number of attacks on Syrian refugee communities are going unreported because people “are too frightened to complain”.

Anwar said: “The family are Syrian refugees from Kobane, Northern Syria, who fled death to live in Scotland five years ago.

“Shabaz lost nine members of his family after an attack on their city by Islamic State. This racist thug who plead guilty today had no regard for the life of Shabaz Ali, who had done nothing wrong, he was a hardworking and quiet young man trying to rebuild his life after Syria.

“Many refugee families today are suffering racist abuse in Scotland and it’s up to decent people to stand up for their rights and ensure that the culprits are dealt with and that the local authorities act sensitively to support and if necessary rehouse victims.

“What the authorities cannot do is hide and pretend this is not happening.

“Since the attack the family are deeply grateful to Positive Action in Housing for their tremendous advocacy and support, as well as their MP Joanna Cherry, the leader of the Council and the people of Edinburgh who also rallied to their support.”

Daily Record

A man who hit a Somali woman with his car before going back to run her over as she lay helpless has been jailed for a minimum of 20 years.

Paul Moore, 21, was convicted of the attempted murder Zaynab Hussein after the attack in Leicester last September.

She remains confined to a bed after suffering life-changing injuries.

Moore, of Leicester, was also found guilty of attempted grievous bodily harm for trying to drive into a 12-year-old Somali girl.

Mother who was run over twice by attacker

The trial heard Moore targeted the pair in revenge for the London 7/7 bombings and the Parsons Green Tube station attack, which happened five days before.

Mrs Hussein was returning home after dropping off her two youngest children at school when she was knocked down.

She was thrown by the force of the impact into the wall of a house in the Beaumont Leys area of Leicester.

Jailing Moore for life, Mr Justice Soole said: “The courage of your victims, and the compassion and courage of all those who came to the aid of Mrs Hussein in different ways – and who notably come from across the diverse range of this local community – stand in stark contrast to your wickedness.

“All pedestrians were at risk from you that morning, however, the fact remains that you ultimately launched your assault on those who were in Islamic clothing.

“Your intention to kill Mrs Hussein was underlined by your wicked decision to return for a second assault with the car. It was only luck and her quick thinking that saved your second intended victim from injury.”

The judge added: “In circumstances where you have shown no remorse and where there is reason to believe that you may have taken satisfaction from what you did, the alternatives of an ordinary determinate sentence or an extended determinate sentence would provide inadequate protection to the public.”

BBC News

Paul Moore entered no defence to the allegations

Paul Moore entered no defence to the allegations

A man has been convicted of the attempted murder of a Somali woman after knocking her over in his car and then going back to run her over as she lay helpless on the ground.

Mother-of-nine Zaynab Hussein suffered life-changing injuries in the attack in Leicester last September.

Her life was saved after extensive specialist surgery but she remains confined to a bed.

Paul Moore, 21, from Leicester, was found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court.

Jurors also convicted him of the attempted grievous bodily harm of a 12-year-old Somali girl, for trying to drive into her minutes after the first attack.

Moore – who has previous convictions and was on bail for a charge of causing grievous bodily harm when he was arrested for the attack – looked straight ahead and showed no emotion as the verdicts were read out.

In the hours leading up to the attack, which happened five days after the Parsons Green attack in London, Moore had been drinking heavily with friends.

Mrs Hussein was returning home after dropping off her two youngest children at school when she was knocked down.

She was thrown by the force of the impact into the wall of a house in the Beaumont Leys area of Leicester.

In two witness statements provided from her hospital bed, she said she could feel blood on her forehead and had lost sensation in her limbs, believing them to be broken.

She tried to reach her mobile phone to call family and was crying for help. Two drivers stopped to ask if she needed help, but then drove on.

Mrs Hussein was left with a fractured pelvis, spine and multiple other injuries including severe breaks to her limbs.

Two young men who had been in the car told police that Moore, who is unemployed, had told them he wanted to run someone over. After he first hit Mrs Hussein, sending her flying, the pair jumped out of the still-moving car.

Moore performed a U-turn to return to the scene. He drove past Mrs Hussein and seeing her on the ground, he turned the car around, mounted the pavement and drove over her with all four wheels.

He then drove off again and spotted a 12-year-old Somali girl, identified by him as a Muslim because of her headscarf, walking to school with her cousin. Moore drove at her, apparently mounting the pavement again, but this time he clipped her side, sending her bag flying. The girl was unharmed but shaken.

During the trial, the jury heard that after the attack Moore turned up severely drunk at the home of his half-brother, Lewis Welsh, and told him in offensive, racist terms, why he had attacked the woman.

I don’t think he knew what he was saying or doing. But he did tell me that he had ran over a ‘Paki’,” said Mr Welsh.

“He tried to put it down to the London 7/7 bombings. He said he was proud of himself. He was rambling. He was doing the country a favour.”

Mrs Hussein remains in pain and is still receiving medical treatment for her injuries – including returning to hospital for more surgery.

She and her husband are too scared to talk publicly about what happened but the wider Muslim community in the Beaumont Leys area remains in shock.

“Everyone has been talking about how this happened – and why,” said Zuleika, a community activist in Leicester.

She, like all the others the BBC spoke to, asked to remain anonymous because they are scared there could be another attack.

“We are just asking ourselves who is going to be next. We have found out about other parents who have been insulted because they are Muslim. Some of them are scared and afraid to raise their voice – for every woman in this community, we now have the same fear.”

Paul Moore pleaded denied attempted murder but gave the court no defence to the accusation that his crime was motivated by hate.

National statistics show that hate crime appears to have been rising over the last two years:

There were 80,393 offences in 2016-17 in England and Wales
That’s up from 62,518 in 2015-16
The rise was the largest increase since the Home Office began recording the figures in 2011-12

Part of the rise was down to better reporting but police were also sure there were spikes after major moments of tension.

The most significant of these were the EU Referendum in June 2016 and the terrorism attacks at Westminster Bridge, Manchester Arena and London Bridge.

The Parsons Green London Underground attack came outside of the period for these statistics – but Moore’s attempted murder of Mrs Hussein occurred five days later.

Azhar Qayum of Mend, a campaign organisation tackling Islamophobia, said women were particularly vulnerable to attacks, alongside elderly men, because they tended to be more visible.

“What’s happened to Mrs Hussen is very serious – but it is not an isolated case,” he said.

“There has been a long line of very serious crimes like this. We have had the Islamophobic murder of Mohammed Saleem in Birmingham, we have the Islamophobic murder of Mushin Ahmed in Rotherham, an 81-year-old grandfather.

“And we have had the attack last year on worshippers at Finsbury Park. Although this is very serious, this level of seriousness is no isolated.”

BBC News

Locked up: Rod Woolliss admitted attempted murder. Inset: The crossbow used to shoot Gedmanis Rolanda.

Locked up: Rod Woolliss admitted attempted murder. Inset: The crossbow used to shoot Gedmanis Rolanda.

'Disgraceful conduct': Adrian Francis.

‘Disgraceful conduct’: Adrian Francis.

Twice jailed before: Ashley Meadows.

Twice jailed before: Ashley Meadows.

THIS was the weapon used to fire a bolt into an unconscious man’s face during drink-fuelled “mob violence”.

If the tip of the arrow had landed just a bit further across the helpless victim’s body, it could have been fatal, a court heard.

The man who fired the crossbow, Rod Woolliss, 22, was jailed for ten years yesterday after admitting attempted murder and other charges.

Community leaders have moved to reassure the public following the “one-off incident”.

It followed a confrontation between a group of Lithuanian people and a gang of local people in the area of Corporation Road and the nearby Duke of York Gardens, Grimsby, on July 7. About 40 people were in the park area at one stage. Emotions were running high and people on both sides had weapons.

Today, community leaders reassured residents.

Councillor Darren Billard, who represents the West Marsh, said: “There is a strong sense of community on the West Marsh.

“There are incidents of low-level offending, such as antisocial behaviour, at the park but nothing of this magnitude.”

“There has never been an incident of violence of this kind while I have been councillor and I hope there never will be again.

Keith Watkin, vice-chairman of Friends Of The Freshney, added: “The park is the centre of community life on the West Marsh and always has been.

“This one-off incident is not a reflection of what the park is like.

“We all hope this incident doesn’t taint its reputation because it is the place where people from all walks of life go.”

Woolliss, of Millom Way, Grimsby, also admitted attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent and violent disorder.

Adrian Francis, 25, of Corporation Road, Grimsby, was jailed for six years and two months after admitting attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent and violent disorder.

Ashley Meadows, 27, of Haven Avenue, Grimsby, was locked up for three-and-a-half years after admitting violent disorder.

Richard Woolfall, prosecuting, told Hull Crown Court that the Lithuanian victim, Rolandas Gedminas, 27, a leaflet distributor, had been repeatedly kicked to the head and stamped on by Woolliss and Francis. Woolliss then fired the crossbow bolt.

“Woolliss took a crossbow and shot him to the side of the head,” said Mr Woolfall. “He was extremely lucky to have survived that.”

A neurosurgeon had revealed that, if the tip of the bolt had been only a few millimetres deeper or higher, it would have been fatal.

The incident followed a confrontation between a group of Lithuanians and a gang of locals in the area of Corporation Road and Duke Of York Gardens, Grimsby, on July 7.

About 40 people were in the park area at one stage. Emotions were running high and people on both sides had weapons.

“It was mob violence,” said Mr Woolfall.

Mr Gedminas and a woman were assaulted and he was very quickly knocked to the ground.

People were mocking Mr Gedminas as he lay on the ground. A girl poured beer on his face and a male assaulted him. Woolliss repeatedly kicked him and stamped on his head. He later fired the crossbow at close range, causing a “thud” sound.

Afterwards, Woolliss was “laughing and acting hysterically”.

The bolt had embedded in a salivary gland and it was surgically removed.

He suffered nerve damage and later had problems eating and drinking.

Members of the crossbow victim’s group were “tooled up” with weapons and may have “provoked” the violence, the court heard.

Richard Butters, mitigating for Woolliss, said: “The complainant group were tooled up. They had metal bars of three to three-and-a-half-foot length.

“The foreign group provoked the situation and it could be said that they, in fact, started it.”

Woolliss had no previous convictions for assault and the violence he used was out of character, said Mr Butters.

Craig Lowe, representing Francis, said his client was sorry for what he had done.

“He has brought shame and embarrassment to his family, who no longer talk to him,” he said.

Richard Hackfath, representing Meadows, said the “foreign group” had weapons and, as a result, Meadows and his group armed themselves.

Meadows had twice been jailed for periods of four years, once for aggravated burglary in 2005 and again in 2010 for two burglary offences which were part of the infamous Shiny Car Wash case.

The sentence on Francis included a consecutive two months for breaching a 16-week suspended prison sentence for a public offence and two of assault.

The court heard that the whereabouts of Mr Gedminas and his present condition were now not known to the prosecution.

A 17-year-old youth, who cannot be named because of a court order, admitted violent disorder. He was given an eight-month detention and training order.

The court heard that he was armed with a chain but did not necessarily use it. He was, however, part of a group that was involved in violence.

Andrew Bailey, mitigating, said that the youth had an “awful” record but did not actually use any violence. He was working as a builder’s mate, living away from Grimsby and was keeping away from bad influences.

Grimsby Telegraph