Interest of justice cited by judge,
waiving immediate custody in knife crime.

Helen Gavaghan, Bradford Crown Court. 19th July 2019.

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Judge Hatton QC this morning sentenced Mr Fayez Shofi (30) to two months (reduced from 3 months) suspended for two years for a knife crime on Keighley railway station earlier this year. Mr Fayez had objected to being told he might not smoke on the station, and had threatened the rail safety officer who told him to put out his cigarette and then to leave the station. Mr Shofi had doubted the rail safety officer's right to instruct Mr Shofi in the situation. His honour told the defendant that if he offends during the next two years he would have to serve his sentence. After the sentencing Mr Shofi's interpreter told me Mr Shofi had understood the judge, and that Mr Shofi's English was quite good. Mr Shofi was present and aware I am a member of the press.

Mr Shofi's advocate told the Court that Mr Shofi had felt intimidated in his place of residence. The judge explained to the defendant how seriously Parliament views knife crime, and the limitations placed by Statute on his judicial powers to avoid imposing an immediate custodial sentence. The judge spoke of a psychitaric report which said that though Mr Shofi was not currently ill, it was the psychiatrist's view that prison would lead to deterioration in Mr Shofi's psychiatric health.

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