Nelson axe attacker jailed

Ittazaz Ilahi
Ittazaz Ilahi

AN axe attacker “gang leader” has finally been locked up for six years for a vicious assault in a Nelson shop in 2006.

Ittazaz Ilahi fled the country after he and two others targeted Amjad Hussain in a family feud at a mobile phone store in Railway Street. He was arrested last December 23rd at Manchester Airport, charged and was sentenced at Burnley Crown Court.

Ilahi had been the first of the three hooded men to dish out violence in the terrifying incident on March 28th, 2006. He had told the victim: “You’re dead now” before bringing the axe down on the back of his head. Mr Hussain was also hit with a baseball bat and punched. The trouble spilled out into the street, one little boy was so traumatised by what he saw he was physically sick and the victim’s friend believed the assailants were trying to kill Mr Hussain, the hearing was told.

The victim suffered two serious wounds, had to have 40 stitches and was so scared of going out afterwards he had missed his daughter’s wedding. Ilahi (33), from Agecroft Road, Pendlebury, Manchester, admitted wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Miss Sarah Statham (prosecuting) said Mr Hussain had gone to the shop to see his friend. He was sitting in the back room when the three men walked in. He immediately recognised the defendant when he took his hood down and as soon as he entered the back room, Ilahi produced an axe, about a foot and a half in length.

Mr Hussain tried to get up, grabbed out at the weapon and softened the blow, although he was still struck. A second man hit the victim about the head and body with a baseball bat and Mr Hussain wrestled with Ilahi, trying to disarm him. The struggle spilled out onto the street, the victim was still being attacked and was punched while on the ground. The third man then sprayed with victim’s face with black paint from an aerosol cannister.

Miss Statham said Mr Hussain managed to escape and ran to Nelson Police Station. The defendant was not apprehended, but his accomplices were arrested that day and charged. The attacker who wielded the baseball bat was sent to jail for six years in 2007.

The hearing was told Ilahi had a previous conviction for having an offensive weapon when he had an iron bar as part of the same feud.

Mr Hussain suffered an eight to 10cm full thickness cut and a 2cm partial thickness gash, both to the back of his head. After his ordeal, he had to stop work and suffered memory loss and sleepless nights. The prosecutor told the court the Crown suggested Ilahi left the country on March 31st, 2007.

Mr Paul Casey, for Ilahi, said, as far as the defendant was concerned, the feud was over. The defendant, who was now head of his family after the death of his father, intended to move out of the area.

He accepted he went to the shop, disguised and in a group. The barrister added: “He must and does accept responsibility for what followed.”

Sentencing, Judge Beverly Lunt told Ilahi he had been part of a “very, very vicious and violent attack,”and had then run away. She added: “It’s fortunate for you the injuries Mr Hussain suffered were not more serious.”