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Teenager jailed for racially aggravated attempted murder of Syrian refugee in Edinburgh

Gorman told barber to go back to his own country before knifing him six times, after being asked to turn his music down

Colin Drury
Friday 17 August 2018 16:22 BST
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Shabaz Ali in hospital
Shabaz Ali in hospital (PA)

A teenager has been jailed for seven years and nine months for the racially aggravated attempted murder of a Syrian refugee in Edinburgh.

Sean Gorman repeatedly stabbed Shabaz Ali, 25, following a minor argument at a hostel in the city’s Upper Gilmore Place.

The 18-year-old plunged a lock-knife into his victim six times after reacting furiously to being asked to turn his music down.

He was given an extended sentence of 11 years and nine months when he appeared at the High Court in the Scottish capital for sentencing on Friday. Four years will be under supervision upon his release from custody.

Sentencing, judge Lord Woolman told him: “You carried out a frenzied attack on a stranger, Mr Shabaz Ali. You stabbed him six times, five times in the upper chest.

“But you would have been a threat to anyone you came across that night.”

The court heard that Gorman was visiting the hostel and had drunk most of a litre bottle of vodka and taken ecstasy and cocaine. He was described as “hyper” before the attack.

After Mr Ali – who fled Syria five years ago – complained about the loud music, which was preventing him from sleeping, Gorman told the barber to go back to his own country before pulling a knife out.

Lord Woolman said: “The attack has caused Mr Ali serious physical and psychological harm. He cannot work. He can only take short walks with the aid of a walking stick. He awaits further surgery.”

Gorman was ordered to begin his sentence only when he has finished serving 169 days for a previous unrelated conviction of assault to severe injury and the danger of life.

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