A “dangerous” man has been jailed for 12 years for two vicious knife attacks – including one in which he teamed up with his girlfriend to lure a Londoner to a Birmingham park with a series of flirtatious Facebook posts.
Afahan Hussain slashed a man across the face with a Stanley knife in Soho Road last August in an unprovoked attack just weeks after a park robbery where he threatened a man – tempted from the capital by Hussain’s callous partner Haseena Aziz – with a meat cleaver.
The Londoner met 28-year-old honey-trap Aziz in parkland near the Handsworth flyover on 15 June last year having been persuaded to make the trip north under the impression she was keen on striking up a relationship. But shortly after taking a bench seat Hussain – who was lying in wait – charged at the 25-year-old, punched and head-butted him, before holding a cleaver to his face and demanding his phone and cash.
Phone and social media enquiries led West Midlands Police detectives to the pair who were later charged with robbery. They were found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court on 2 June. The jury heard how cruel Aziz laughed as she watched the attack and then waded in herself by kicking the man in the groin – and both later sent texts mocking him for falling for their set-up.
And just weeks after the park robbery gold-toothed Hussain slashed a stranger across the face in a seemingly motiveless street attack. He shoulder barged a man to the floor in Soho Road in the early hours of August 7 and as the 27-year-old scrambled to his feet Hussain pulled out a knife and slashed him down the left side of his face, severing an artery and narrowly missing his left eye.
Bleeding heavily, he ran to Thornhill Road police station for help and firearms officers were deployed to provide emergency Fast Aid – an advanced form of first aid that’s a feature of all armed police training – before paramedics arrived. They helped stem the bleeding and doctors later said the attack could have proved fatal due to the significant blood loss.
A week later the victim spotted Hussain through a bedroom window whilst recuperating at his girlfriend’s house in Hockley’s South Road. He watched as the 29-year-old entered a neighbouring house and, minutes later, police officers arrived to find him lounging on a sofa.
Hussain denied the offence but the victim’s recollection of his attacker’s distinctive gold tooth proved crucial and today (August 1) he was jailed for a total of 12 years having been found guilty of wounding with intent to cause GBH and robbery. Aziz was found guilty of robbery and jailed for four years.
Detective Constable Sara Caldwell investigated the Soho Road attack. “It was completely unprovoked…the man was walking with a friend to a local shop to buy cigarettes when Hussain deliberately barged into him and lashed out with a knife,” she said. “The victim suffered significant blood loss, nerve damage and has lost sensation on the left side of his face. It was an outrageous attack.
“Anyone who carries a knife in public is potentially putting themselves and others in danger and can expect to be jailed, even if they don’t strike out with it in anger.
“The judge described Hussain as a dangerous man and a risk to the public…he will rightly spend many years behind bars and be subject to an extended licence period upon his eventual release.”
Unemployed Hussain accepted being shown on CCTV in Soho Road at the time of the attack – just after 1am on Wednesday 7 August – but denied being involved or seeing the man being set upon. However, he was found guilty by a unanimous jury after a five-day trial in February at Birmingham Crown Court; sentencing was delayed due to him standing trial on June 2 alongside Aziz for the Handsworth park robbery.