3rd Jul, 2022

Man who stabbed Coventry housemate 20 times sentenced to 15 years in jail

Editorial Correspondent 5th Feb, 2019 Updated: 5th Feb, 2019

A MAN who stabbed one of his housemates around 20 times in a frenzied attack, puncturing his lung, after frogmarching him into an alleyway could spend up to 15 years behind bars.

Despite overwhelming CCTV evidence, Ali Mashru had denied being responsible for the attack – claiming someone else must have gone into the alleyway from the other end after he had left.

But a jury at Warwick Crown Court last month unanimously found him guilty of wounding victim Barry Arnold with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm.

Following an adjournment for a report to be prepared on him, with which he refused to co-operate, he refused to leave jail to attend court, so was sentenced in his absence.

Mashru (26) of St Georges Road, Lower Stoke, Coventry, was given an extended sentence of 15 years in prison, with an additional four years on licence, after Judge Andrew Lockhart QC classed him as a dangerous offender.

As a result, he will have to serve at least ten years before the Parole Board can consider his release, and he will only be freed before serving the full 15 years if it is considered safe to do so.

Prosecutor Tim Harrington had said: “The defendant violently stabbed a man he knows, Barry Arnold, in a frenzied and sustained attack. Using a knife, he stabbed him to the arm, to the body and to the head something like 20 times.”

Mr Harrington said that Mr Arnold and Mashru were both living at the same address in St Georges Road at the time.

During the early evening on Friday June 15, Mr Arnold was seen on a CCTV camera leaving the house and going to the Nisa supermarket at the junction of St Georges Road and Humber Avenue.

They had argued in the house, and Mashru followed Mr Arnold, who was inebriated, before confronting him near the store.

The confrontation boiled up into violence, and Mashru frogmarched Mr Arnold out of the view of another CCTV camera and into a narrow alleyway further down St Georges Road.

“It is there that he pulled out a knife and carried out this sustained attack.”

Playing the CCTV recording, Mr Harrington pointed out that Mashru emerged from the alley a couple of minutes later, having left Mr Arnold for dead.

No-one else could be seen until a man went into the alley 57 seconds later and discovered the badly bleeding Mr Arnold and called for an ambulance.

Mashru suggested in court that someone could have gone into the alleyway from the other end after he had emerged, carried out the attack on Mr Arnold and then made off without being seen.

But Mr Harrington said there was overwhelming evidence: “First, Barry Arnold will say it’s this defendant who stabbed him. And second, on the CCTV you will see there is no opportunity for anyone else to have done so. There is no-one else.”

Before Mashru was sentenced, the court heard that in 2013 he was jailed for three years and nine months for blackmailing his own father by claiming he had been kidnapped.

Hugh French, defending, submitted: “The wounds were mostly superficial, although there was one which led to a punctured lung. It was very much on the spur of the moment that he armed himself and followed him down the street.

“Even the victim said how out of character it was.”

Of Mashru’s abusive and aggressive behaviour in the dock after the verdict was announced, Mr French said he was ‘showing his disappointment’ – but the judge remarked: “It goes further than that. It impacts on my view of him as a human being.”

Jailing Mashru as if he was present, Judge Lockhart said: “You were walking with purpose to follow Mr Arnold. You were on your way to stab him in a planned attack with a knife you had taken from the house.

“You frogmarched him to the alleyway where you had chosen to take him to stab him, and you began a vicious and sustained assault on him.

“I am sure if he had not been treated quickly, his life would have been compromised. This was a grave offence of its kind.

“This knife was used not once, not twice, not five times, but about 20 times in succession. Knives and knife culture must be discouraged and condign punishment imposed.”

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