Asylum seeker jailed for knife attack

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A Sudanese asylum seeker was jailed for five years yesterday for slashing two friends in a row which followed them watching TV news coverage of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby.

Ziko Sulliman, 27, grabbed a knife and went on the attack in Middlesbrough in May after he had been drinking cider. He slashed Zakaria Zain across the cheek, which needed five stitches, and in the leg. Their friend Khalid Osman suffered a cut hand when he tried to intervene and stop the attack.

A witness told police Sulliman had been watching the TV news with Mr Zain when an item about the horrific Woolwich murder was shown, a source close to the case said after the hearing. Mr Zain expressed his disgust at the killing and he and Sulliman then started to speak in their native tongue, the source said, before a row broke out.

Sulliman admitted wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm, wounding and having a blade, at a previous hearing at Teesside Crown Court.