Sudanese asylum seeker avoids jail following ‘terrifying’ screwdriver attack

A Sudanese asylum seeker living in Rochdale has been spared an immediate custodial sentence after a vicious screwdriver attack which left his victim hospitalised with puncture wounds.

Hasan Suliman, 27 walked away from Minshull Street Crown Court a free man after the court imposed a 21-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

The attack took place in the early hours of Sunday, October 21 2018 following an altercation outside Yates’ Wine Lodge in Rochdale town centre.

The court heard how the victim and his friends had been smoking outside of the Yates’ establishment when approached by Suliman who took a cigarette out of the mouth of one of the victim’s female friends and “asked if she wanted driving home”, to which the woman refused and left with her partner.

Prosecuting, Chloe Fordham told the court that Suliman then started to become aggressive, which prompted another group to offer the victim and his friends a ride home.

As the victim and his friends walked towards the Job Centre car park to go home, Suliman was waiting for them in his car, blocking their exit.

“When they got to the car, the defendant was parked up at the gate of the car park,” said Ms Fordham. “The defendant beckoned [the victim over] and opened the boot of his car.

“He was met by the defendant holding a screwdriver in his hand. He brandished it and said something like, ‘if you want to die, I will kill you’.”

Suliman then proceeded to stab the man, first in his left arm, and then the left side of his forehead.

“He continued to jab at him and stabbed him in the roof of his mouth, shouting he was going to kill him,” the prosecution said, before the asylum seeker was restrained by others and eventually left the scene.

His victim was hospitalised and needed treatment for a two centimetre puncture wound in his mouth, and a three centimetre wound on his chin.

Upon being sentenced, Judge Paul Lawton told the defendant: “It is remarkable that having fled violence in Sudan you caused to bring violence to the streets of England.

“You are 27-years-old and a man of previous good character. You have a partner and a young child, and are expecting another one.

“The violence used a potentially lethal weapon,” he added.

Despite the severity of the offence, Suliman received a 21-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, in addition to a community order and alcohol rehabilitation programme.