Dad lost his temper and threatened men with axe after being subjected to honour violence


Delivery driver Syed Gilani brandished an axe at men on a petrol station forecourt.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard the 34-year-old lost his temper because he’d been experiencing honour threats and violence.

He punched a passenger in a car on a garage forecourt in Lightwood Road, Longton. But after the scuffle was broken up, he returned to his car and produced an axe.

Now Gilani has been sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 12 months, with a rehabilitation activity requirement for 20 days and 60 hours’ unpaid work.

Prosecutor Philip Beardwell said the incident happened at the Jet Service Station at 2pm on March 1.

“CCTV was reviewed and the defendant was the aggressor. He arrived after a white BMW arrived,” he told the court.

“He was seen to get out and throw a punch towards a passenger in the BMW. The scuffle was broken up. The defendant returned to his vehicle, got an axe and goaded the other man.”

The defendant was arrested on May 2. He told police he had the axe as he was working on a property in Fenton. He said he took it from the car to scare them. He made reference to problems he had with the occupants of the BMW and added he was scared for his safety.

Gilani, of Lightwood Road, Longton, pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon in public and using threatening behaviour with intent to cause fear of violence.

Anis Ali, mitigating, said the defendant had received threats and his property, including his vehicle, has been damaged.

But he said Gilani showed poor judgement.

“On March 1, there was a similar incident. He was threatened. Things were thrown at the vehicle. He stopped at the service station as he wanted to try and bring the situation to an end,” said Mr Ali.

“He maintains he was the subject of an attack, a physical attack. Some summary justice was dispensed, with punching and kicking. He felt no alternative but to return to his car with a view to retrieve his mobile phone to call the police.

“He was able to take possession of an axe which was in the car. It was a work tool. He had been working at his brother’s property doing renovation work. He will maintain, the axe, while brandished, was not used to inflict or cause any injury.

“It was relatively short-lived. There has been no repetition and a considerable amount of time has elapsed since.”

He said the defendant’s partner and young child are dependent on him. Mr Ali added: “He and his partner have expressed a clear intention to move from the area to avoid any further conflict.

“He accepts what he did was wrong. He lost his temper. He was unable to control his emotions.

“His partner perceives the history to stem from honour-based violence, honour-based concerns which are displaced.

“They are finding it difficult to make progress with their lives.”

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Judge David Fletcher said: “It took place on a forecourt of a petrol station at 2pm. The serious aspect was the utilisation of the axe from the footwell of the vehicle. There was a confrontation, but it is not said anyone was struck with that weapon.

“I accept there have been some very difficult times, particularly as a result of the relationship you have with your partner and the consequences of that on her previous relationship, and the effect that has had on you.

“But there can be no excuse for behaving in this way, for producing something as serious as an axe.”

Gilani was also ordered to pay £360 costs.





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