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‘Sheer chance’ Halifax man jailed for seven years for two attacks did not kill nightclubber

A 24-year-old man who stabbed a nightclubber in the chest during a violent disorder in Halifax has been jailed for a total of seven years.

A judge told Southowram man Ahjay Hussain it was sheer chance that he did not murder his victim Liam Andrew during the violence outside Bar Rouge in August last year and centimetres had made all the difference.

“Had Mr Andrew died you would be serving a sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum term in the region of 25 to 30 years,” said the Recorder of Bradford Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC.

Hussain also caused another knife wound to Mr Andrew’s left thigh and Bradford Crown Court heard how the complainant’s friend John Gill was bitten on the cheek by someone as the pair were attacked by a group of up to six men.

Prosecutor Laura McBride said the attackers were described as “a pack of wolves” and both victims were kicked and punched during the incident.

Hussain pleaded guilty to charges of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm and violent disorder over that attack, but while he was on bail he also played the leading role in another incident of mob-handed violence in Halifax in December 2016.

The court heard that Hussain’s girlfriend had telephoned him after she was subjected to alleged racial abuse while she was out in Halifax in the early hours.

Miss McBride said Hussain drove to the scene with three other men and after he punched the alleged abuser the man was then attacked by the group.

The victim in that attack suffered various injuries including a dislocated left ankle and a broken left leg.

Hussain, of Freeman Road, pleaded guilty to a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm in relation to the December incident.

Today Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC sentenced Hussain to six years in jail for the stabbing offence with an additional one year in prison for the second attack.

Barrister Stephen Wood, for Hussain, explained that his client had already spent almost a year in custody awaiting his sentence and he had addressed underlying issues while on remand.

“This is a man who can lead a responsible life outside prison,” Mr Wood submitted.

Mr Wood said the defence did not accept the proposition that Hussain had sought to set himself up as some kind of hard man or “enforcer”.

Judge Durham Hall said the attack on the two strangers in August last year had been “motiveless” and could properly be described as a feral attack.

He said Hussain had gone to a car during the attack and retrieved a knife which he then used to stab his victim who was on the ground being kicked and punched.

In a victim impact statement Mr Andrew described how he felt he had been “left to die” after the stabbing.

He had suffered problems with anxiety and sleeplessness after the attack which he believed had been carried out by a gang of thugs.

The court heard that the victim in the second attack had been a keen rugby player and he felt devastated at the thought that he might not be able to play again because of his injuries.