27th Jun, 2022

Thug convicted for slashing victim in face at ice cream parlour

A man who pulled out a knife and slashed another man’s face during an argument outside a Coventry ice cream parlour has been convicted of intending to cause him grievous bodily harm.

Shai Dilbert (19) of Victoria Street, Coventry, had admitted wounding his victim Mohsan Zafar, but denied doing so with intent to cause him really serious injury.

But a jury at Warwick Crown Court found him guilty after prosecutor Ian Windridge posed the question: “What intention would someone have for slashing a person across the face, but to cause really serious harm?”

Mr Windridge said that at 8.30 in the evening on July 16, a white BMW, in which Mr Zafar was a passenger, was parked outside Creams ice cream parlour in Swanswell Street, Hillfields.

Standing by the passenger side of the car talking to him was Amaan Akhtar, when Dilbert cycled past and then got off his bike and put it down.

A CCTV recording shows Mr Akhtar going to the front of the BMW as Dilbert walks back towards the car and is said to use racist language.

Dilbert then swings a slap towards Mr Akhtar’s face, at which Mr Zafar gets out of the car and walks towards them.

“In Dilbert’s left hand is a small red Nike rucksack. In that is a knife, and you can just see the handle pointing out of the top of the rucksack,” said Mr Windridge.

“The knife is extracted, and there’s a backhanded slash across the face of Mr Zafar.

“Mr Dilbert then leaves, and the others go back to the car, and Mr Zafar then realises he is now bleeding.

“Fortunately Mr Zafar, although he was struck to the face with the knife, only suffered a relatively small cut.

“Mr Dilbert accepts he caused a wound to Mr Zafar, but he doesn’t accept he had the intention to cause grievous bodily harm.

“It’s not said that he did cause really serious harm – but the charge is that he had the intent to do so.

“The prosecution will ask you what intention would someone have for slashing a person across the face, but to cause really serious harm?”

Dilbert, who still had the knife on him when he was later arrested, told the court he had only carried it twice ‘for safety’ after he had been attacked and robbed.

Mr Windridge suggested it was a bit of a coincidence that once was when he used it and the other was when he was arrested, but Dilbert said he meant ‘twice before this happened.’

He denied using racist language as he had cycled past the car, but said he had looked at the car and had been given ‘evil looks,’ and that Mr Akhtar had said something like ‘skinny p**ck.’

Asked why he did not just carry on cycling, Dilbert said: “I decided I wanted to sort it out, because if I rode off they could follow me in the car.

“I wanted to address him and ask him why, the reason why he was talking to me. I said something, and he said something back, and it escalated.”

Mr Windridge pointed out that as Mr Zafar got out of the car and walked towards Dilbert, he had his hands down, posing no threat to him.

Dilbert responded: “No, but his face was angry. He was power-walking towards me. He could have grabbed me or anything. I started panicking and said ‘stop.’”

Accepting he had the knife in his hand at that stage, he said: “I had stepped back, but he stepped towards me. I wanted him to back away. If I had wanted to, I could have stabbed him.

“It was a slash out to make him step back. I didn’t mean it to go towards his face, I just slashed out.”

After the jury rejected his account and found him guilty, Recorder Jacqueline Carey adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on Dilbert, who she remanded in custody.

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