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Jailed: Knifeman tried to force entry into Walsall kebab shop

By Jamie Brassington | Walsall | Crime | Published:

A 29-year-old man who tried to force his way into a Walsall kebab shop armed with a knife has been jailed.

Kebab Ranch in Walsall

Tafari Smith, of Midland Road, Walsall, had a confrontation with staff at Kebab Ranch in the early morning of May 23.

He then went to a club and returned armed with the bladed weapon, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

CCTV footage captured him trying to push his way through the front door which was being blocked from the inside.

An unknown male accomplice was also seen next to Mr Smith repeatedly kicking the door of the Bradford Street business.

Geoffrey Dann, prosecuting, said: “He went to the takeaway to get food and he said people had a go at him.

“He went to a club and got a knife (from an accomplice) and went back to show he was one not to be messed with. The knife was for protection.”

Smith returned to the kebab shop at 5.20am. A CCTV controller spotted the unfolding incident in the town centre and told police it was “kicking off”, the court heard.

A seven-minute video was played to court showing the pair trying to gain entry over several minutes.

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Mr Haroon Khattak, defending, told the court heard that during the earlier confrontation Smith had been “bitten on the head” by a staff member.

“Mr Smith was out with a friend partying on the night,” he said.

“The staff in the kebab shop, according to his account, started some sort of altercation with a friend (earlier on) and this escalated.

“He says one staff member had bitten him on the head and he suffered a significant injury.

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Pressure

“He went to another friend to obtain something and went back to the premises. He accepts that something was a knife.

“His friend was in the shop and he wanted to protect him.”

When police arrested Smith, officers did not find a knife on him but he admitted that he had carried one. He was also found with a small quantity of cannabis.

Mr Khattak said Smith, a father-of-two, had been suffering with “stress and was under pressure” from a previous relationship.

“He has disappointed himself and his family by letting them down,” said Mr Khattak.

“The prospect of prison has frightened him.”

The court heard Smith has previously served time in prison and he has previous offences which include battery.

Smith was jailed for 12 months and given concurrent sentences for possession of the knife and for causing fear or provocation of violence.

Recorder Balraj Bhatia QC said: “Knife crime is on the increase. I don’t know what would have happened if you had gained access to the shop. CCTV has shown you had a substantial knife there.”

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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