Ibrahim Abdilahi is facing years behind bars after he stabbed a man in the middle of a Sunderland street after an argument on the evening of November 1 last year.
As the confrontation spiralled on Hutton Street, Abdilahi pulled out a knife and plunged the blade into the victim’s neck – severing his carotid artery and coming within inches of killing him.
The victim was taken to hospital for emergency surgery and was subsequently placed in a coma.
After carrying out the attack, the 28-year-old knifeman was spotted by a witness entering a nearby address. When police turned up they found Abdilahi covered in blood and with a cut to his hand – which he claimed had been caused by opening a can of tuna with a knife.
Yesterday (Monday) Abdilahi, of Hutton Street, Sunderland, was cleared of attempted murder but convicted of wounding with intent and possessing a bladed or pointed article following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court. He is due to be sentenced later this year.
Detective Constable Shaun Stokoe, of Northumbria Police, said: “It is sheer luck that Abdilahi’s victim did not suffer fatal injuries as a result of this appalling incident.
“The knife severed an artery in the victim’s neck, and had it been a millimetre either side, it is likely that Abdilahi would be facing a murder or manslaughter charge.
“There is absolutely no excuse for carrying a knife and Abdilahi has proved himself to be a danger to society. He now faces a significant custodial term as a result of his actions.
“We will not tolerate violent incidents such as this on our streets and will look to ensure anybody found to be carrying a weapon is dealt with swiftly and robustly.”
The court heard neighbours watched on in horror as the attack unfolded outside their windows – before Abdilahi walked off and entered a nearby property.
Witnesses were able to point out the door to police and officers subsequently found Abdilahi inside with cuts to his hand, which he claimed had been caused by opening a can of tuna.
Following Abdilahi’s conviction, police have now thanked residents who assisted with the investigation and picked up the phone.
Det Con Stokoe said: “The actions of those who witnessed this attack should be commended – they did absolutely the right thing by contacting police and providing crucial information as to Abdilahi’s movements immediately after the incident.
“That allowed officers to be deployed to the area swiftly and locate the suspect – and ensure the victim was taken to hospital for emergency treatment.
“If you see anyone carrying a weapon or suspect someone is in possession of a knife, please do the right thing and give us a call. Your actions could help save a life.”