Victim killed in Sheffield stab attack

Viictim: Mubarak Ali.
Viictim: Mubarak Ali.
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A MAN collapsed and died after he was stabbed through the heart in a ‘deliberate and murderous’ attack in broad daylight outside a Sheffield barber’s shop, a court heard.

Mubarak Ali, aged 23, was knifed twice in the chest by, it is alleged, James Lewis Knowles, who thrust the blade into his heart.

Another jab was delivered with such force the tip of the knife broke off and was left embedded in his rib, a jury was told.

Paul Watson QC, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court, said Knowles murdered Mr Ali shortly after being attacked by a gang of Somali men - including Mr Ali - as he sat in a chair at Swarv barber’s shop on Abbeydale Road, Highfield, on September 9 last year.

Mr Watson said shortly after 11.30am Knowles, 22, of Deer Park Road, Stannington, had driven to the Highfield area of Sheffield in his Vauxhall Astra.

There he met his cousins Sam and Jamie Williamson.

“He was about to have his hair cut when a group of five youths ran into the shop and attacked him while he was sitting in the barber’s chair,” said Mr Watson.

“James Knowles tried to run away by going to the back of the shop, but he couldn’t get out and the attack continued.

“Witnessses saw at least one of the attackers was armed with a piece of wood, while another was carrying a pointed, metal instrument.”

Mr Watson said shop owner Erol Underwood recalled Knowles shouting, ‘What have I done?’, and one of the men replying, ‘You know what it is’.

Jurors were told Mr Underwood tried to break up the fight and the men moved outside.

Mr Watson said witnesses described a ‘stand off’ between the two groups of men on the corner of Abbeydale Road and Crowther Place.

He added: “Mr Knowles walked back to where he’d left his Vauxhall Astra and was accompanied by one of the attackers - Mubarak Ali.

“They walked up Crowther Place, towards Mount Pleasant Road where a further exchange took place, but this time Mr Ali was attacked by Mr Knowles who stabbed him twice to his chest.”

Mr Watson said Mr Ali, who was bleeding heavily, ran back towards the shop.

He said: “He didn’t get far. The stab wounds were deep and they were fatal. He managed to get about 100 metres before he collapsed and died.

“It is the prosecution’s case that, in spite of what happened in the barber shop, the stabbing of Mubarak Ali by this defendant when the two returned to Mr Knowles’ car was deliberate and aggressive.

“It was a totally murderous attack. Mr Ali died as a result of injuries inflicted by Mr Knowles.”

Mr Watson said Knowles - who denies murder and claims he was acting in self defence - fled to Birmingham where he was arrested a week after the killing.

The trial continues.