Author: DAVID SCOTT
A teenager who attempted to murder a Syrian refugee in a “frenzied” racially-aggravated attack has been locked up for more than eight years. Sean Gorman repeatedly stabbed Shabaz Ali, 25, in an argument about noise at an Edinburgh hostel in the early hours of May 3.
A court heard that Gorman, 18, was “hyper” after downing most of a litre bottle of vodka and taking ecstasy and cocaine prior to the unprovoked attack with a lock-knife.
The court was also told that the teenager was out on licence from another sentence for a violent attack involving a knife at the time of the offence at the hostel in the Capital’s Upper Gilmore Place.
Gorman, who last month admitted the racially-aggravated murder-bid, told social workers: “Deep down, I think I did want to stab somebody.”
Sentencing him at High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lord Woolman handed him an extended sentence of 11 years and nine months, involving detention for seven years and nine months followed by four years of supervision upon his release from custody. Gorman was also ordered to begin that sentence when he has finished serving 169 days of the previous sentence from 2017 for assault to severe injury and the danger of life.
“But you would have been a threat to anyone you came across that night.”
The court heard the wounds sustained by Mr Ali – whose family fled from Syria to escape persecution – put his life in peril, leaving him needing emergency surgery and intensive care.
“Without the urgent and expert hospital treatment he received, you could have faced a charge of murder,” Lord Woolman told the knifeman.
The court was told the attack has caused Mr Ali serious physical and psychological harm and has had a profound effect on his family.
Mr Ali came to Scotland five years ago with his relatives and was working as a barber and staying in the hostel temporarily as he looked for a new home.
Gorman was visiting the hostel and Mr Ali, who hoped to study engineering at university, called at the room due to the loud music being played.
The teenager made threats and racially abused his victim before stabbing him and leaving the property.
Mr Ali’s father Sivan said he could hear his son’s attacker shout: “Why are you still here, why are you not back in your own country?”
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Grainger said: “Gorman used appalling racist language before perpetrating significant violence against the victim, who was left fighting for his life.
“I cannot condemn the circumstances of this case strongly enough. Edinburgh thrives on diversity and Gorman’s actions do not in any way reflect the values of our city.”