Knife-wielding teenager behind bars after he tried to murder a man outside mosque in Darnall, Sheffield

A knife-wielding teenager has been caged after he repeatedly stabbed a man during a ferocious attempted murder outside a mosque.

By Jon Cooper
Friday, 27th May 2022, 5:32 pm
Updated Monday, 30th May 2022, 9:11 am

Sheffield Crown Court heard on May 27 how Mohammed Shabaz, aged 19, targeted and repeatedly stabbed Zeeshan Ali near the Markazi Jamia Masjid mosque, on Industry Road, at Darnall, Sheffield, where the victim had been heading for prayers.

The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, said the victim Zeeshan Ali had previously been acquitted of the murder of a cousin of the defendant called Ahsan Khan which had left Mohammed Shabaz’s family “incensed” and the defendant took the law into his own hands.

Judge Richardson told Shabaz: “I have little doubt that you and your family and you were incensed by the outcome of that trial.

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Pictured is Mohammed Shabaz, aged 19, of Manchester Road, Oldham, who was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court to 21 years of detention after he was found guilty by a trial jury at Sheffield Crown Court of attempted murder and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place following a stabbing near a mosque on Industry Road, at Darnall, in Sheffield.

"Justice, however, takes its course. No one has the right to take the law – as they perceive it to be – into their own hands.”

He added: “It is plain to me that a plan was hatched for Zeeshan Ali to be killed.”

Judge Richardson conceded that given Shabaz’s age he did not believe the defendant had been the “architect” of the plan but he had “executed” the plan.

Shabaz drove to Sheffield and lay in wait outside the mosque as Zeeshan Ali arrived for prayers, according to Judge Richardson.

Pictured is the Markazi Jamia Mosque, of Industry Road, at Darnall, Sheffield.

He said: “As Zeeshan Ali was walking towards the mosque, just off Industry Road, in Darnall, Sheffield, you – masked as you were – ferociously attacked him with that knife.

"He suffered six wounds to his body. Two of which penetrated to an extremely deep level.

"His lung was punctured by the knife. His spleen was punctured by the knife. Major blood vessels in his leg were also severed and other injuries of a severe character were inflicted upon him by that knife. He very nearly died.”

The court heard if it had not been for the quick response of people and paramedics at the mosque and surgeons at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital, Mr Ali would have died.

Shabaz was injured and left a trail of blood on the knife and in the car which linked him to the offence despite his efforts to torch the vehicle, according to Judge Richardson.

Judge Richardson said the attack and Shabaz’s attempt to escape justice was all captured on CCTV footage.

Shabaz, of Manchester Road, Oldham, who lived with his parents and worked at his father's business, was found guilty by a trial jury of attempted murder and possessing a knife in a public place after the attack happened on January 30, 2021.

Defence barrister Anand Beharrylal QC said Shabaz who has no previous convictions and is of previous good character could not have thought up this plan.

Judge Richardson told Shabaz: “Although I accept you were not the architect of this catastrophe. You certainly executed it. You were the young man who brutally attacked Zeeshan Ali.”

He sentenced Shabaz to 21 years of detention in a Young Offender Institution and stipulated that when he is deemed old enough he will be transferred to a prison to serve the remainder of his sentence.

Judge Richardson told Shebaz: “I appreciate very much that your life – young though you are – is now ruined. Utterly ruined.”

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