Man put student in vegetative state after queue fight

By Melvyn Howe
Saturday 15 November 2003 01:00

A man who left a student in a permanent vegetative state after beating him around the head with a Krooklok was told by a judge yesterday that prison was inevitable.

Daniel Barker, 28, attacked Adyl Kanata after the 23-year-old complained that Barker had queue-jumped at a garage in Hackney, east London on 5 May 2001.

Constance Briscoe, for the prosecution, told Southwark Crown Court that Mr Kanata had shown no signs of recovery and "never will". He was blind, immobile and, 30 months after the unprovoked attack, was still in hospital.

Barker, of Stepney, east London, was convicted of one count of wounding with intent. He was cleared of a similar offence involving one of Mr Kanata's friends, who was stabbed.

Remanding him in custody until 23 December for pre-sentence reports, Judge Bathurst Norman told him: "I make it quite clear that for a case of this kind a prison sentence is inevitable."

Mr Kanata, who arrived in Britain from Morocco five years ago to study English, had spent an evening with friends when they decided to get something to eat from a garage. As they waited at the cashier's window, Barker drove on to the forecourt. He tried to jump the queue, prompting Mr Kanata's complaint.

There was an altercation and someone who was with Barker stabbed Mr Kanata. Barker was filmed on CCTV taking a Krooklok from his car. He attacked Mr Kanata, then drove off at high speed.

After the trial, Mr Kanata's mother, Khadija, said: "These people who stabbed my gentle boy and smashed him over the head not only destroyed his life but attacked our whole family."