Iranian refugee jailed for road rage row stabbing in Belsize Park

Police cordon-off part of Fellows Road in Belsize Park after a man was stabbed in 2011

Police cordon-off part of Fellows Road in Belsize Park after a man was stabbed in 2011 - Credit: Archant

An Iranian refugee who stabbed a car passenger after a road rage row in Belsize Park has been jailed for two years.

Ehsan Khozanie Shamali, 35, pulled out a pen knife and drove it into the stomach of Mohammed Islam as they squared up in the street in Fellows Road.

Shamali then abandoned his car and fled to a nearby friend’s house to hide from police for three hours, before reporting his vehicle as stolen.

The victim needed an emergency operation after the attack but narrowly avoided damage to all his major organs, Blackfriars Crown Court heard on Tuesday (May 14).

Shamali, of Kilburn High Road, Kilburn, illegally entered the UK 13 years ago from his native Iran after being locked up and tortured for 18 months under the regime.

He claimed another spell behind bars would damage his fragile mental state.

But Judge David Martineau said an immediate jail sentence was inevitable as he had risked causing “serious harm” in the attack on June 29, 2011.

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“It seems to me you have a considerable responsibility for what you did, and what you did was commit a serious offence,” he said.

“Despite the opinion that a prison sentence would have a very detrimental effect on you mental health, it is the only sentence to do justice in the public interest and do justice to the victim.”

Shamali had swerved around another car, in which Mr Islam was a passenger, at a set of traffic lights before accelerating and sharply breaking along Winchester Road and Adelaide Road.

Both drivers squared up in the street, and when Mr Islam stepped in to try to break up the fight, Shamali stabbed him in the abdomen.

“What happened here was a road rage incident, where it was maybe six of one and half a dozen of the other,” said the judge.

“But it was not an accident, there must have been a deliberate blow with the knife, albeit he didn’t intend to cause really serious harm.

“But by lunging forward and stabbing like he must have done, there was a risk of serious harm.”

Shamali was granted asylum by the Home Office, but went on to be convicted for beating up the mother of his children in 2003.

Sam Robinson, defending, said he was under the care of Camden and Islington Mental Health services, and still suffered the effects of being tortured in Iran.

“That would obviously have affected his mind and the way in which he reacted to aggression from somebody else,” he said.