Andrew Jefferson, 53, attacked Hilmi Uludag in his shop in Paddington shouting at him “you f*****g foreigners, coming to the UK to poison the British people” before stabbing him on 18 October last year.
Southwark Crown Court was told Mr Uludag was “lucky to survive” after the attack left him with visible slash marks to his throat that severed nerves in his face, requiring 12 stitches, along with cuts to his chin.
Mr Jefferson was found guilty of attempted murder in March this year after admitting to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Judge Martin Beddoe sentenced Mr Jefferson, currently held in a secure mental health facility, to life imprisonment and ordered he serve at least 10 years.
Turkish national Mr Uludag had sold Mr Jefferson two cans of beer between 10:30pm and 11pm before the vicious assault took place. During the trial Mr Uludag said: “He said nothing, no words at all. He didn’t even say a word, he took the bag he was just looking at me, not even one word and he just walked out.”
It was reported that Mr Jefferson was suffering from “paranoid delusional psychosis”, which caused him to think the beer that was sold to him was poisoned. Two hours later he returned to the shop with a small black handled kitchen knife under his jumper, walked behind the counter and attacked Uludag.
Mr Uludag told the jury: “That is the time I realise this guy’s serious, he wants to kill me, he wanted to take my head off. I was screaming, I was saying I have been stabbed, I have been stabbed”.
Judge Beddoe told Mr Jefferson: “At about 30 minutes after midnight in the morning of October 18 last year you walked into the Padiciya Wine shop on London Street, W2, armed with a knife. As is clear from the CCTV that was shown to the jury, you arrived purposefully at the premises, you walked purposefully around the counter and you tried to stab your victim in the throat. You made it clear to him before you struck that you were intending to kill him.”
The judge noted that the slashes to the victim’s throat were just “millimetres away from probably causing his death” and said: “In short yours was a horrific, unprovoked attack on a man who had done nothing wrong.”
Detective Constable Graham Hillsdon of Westminster CID said: “The men showed extreme bravery by tackling the knifeman while their colleague called the police, and holding him until officers arrived minutes later. If it wasn’t for these men, Jefferson may have gone on to kill or seriously injure someone else that night.”
There has been a reported rise in anti-Muslim hate crime with The Sunday Times reporting a 15% increase in Islamophobic hate crime over the last two years in a number of cities in the UK. Figures disclosed under FOI showed that “17,605 racially and religiously aggravated harassment crimes” were recorded by police in 2014, “up from 15,249 in 2012″. However, this does not provide an accurate depiction of the scale of racial and religious hate crimes because of vast under-reporting and the classification of anti-Muslim hate crime that sees the offences captured as ‘race hate crimes’ or ‘religious hate crimes’ and not, more accurately, as “Islamophobic” hate crimes. A number of police forces in England and Wales have committed to recording Islamophobia as a separate category of hate crime, alongside the Metropolitan Police in London, such as West Midlands police force and Greater Manchester police.
In our manifesto for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in 2012 we proposed a pledge for PCCs to introduce the recording of Islamophobia as a separate category of crime if elected. The Home Secretary earlier this year alluded to the introduction of recording Islamophobia by police forces in England and Wales though the measure has not since surfaced in subsequent political speeches or statements.