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Radio Sandwell Local News

Poundland worker attacked mum who spurned him

2014-09-25 10:35:00

Zeeyarat Khan
Zeeyarat Khan (pictured) attacked Samera Suleman outside Poundland’s St Andrews Retail Park branch in Small Heath

An "obsessed" Poundland worker has been jailed for a horrific hammer attack on a colleague who rejected his advances.

Zeeyarat Khan had spoken of marrying Samera Suleman before he tried to kill her outside a branch in Small Heath.

He picked up a hammer from an aisle and lashed out in front of stunned shoppers, leaving the 32-year-old single mum with a brain injury.

It happened as she arrived to quit her job - unable to deal with his repeated threats to kill her.

Jailing Khan for 18 years, Judge James Burbidge QC told him: "You wanted the relationship to be more permanent but she gently rebuffed you.

"You rushed out of the store and pursued her, attacking her in the most public of places.

"You rained blows on her fast and furious.

"She is very fortunate to have survived the brain injury but it will change her life for ever."

Khan, 27, of no fixed address, had previously admitted a charge of attempted murder.

Miss Suleman, a teaching assistant, worked part-time at Poundland's St Andrews Retail Park branch.

Hugh O'Brien Quinn, prosecuting, told Birmingham Crown Court: "Although they were friendly they seldom socialised outside work.

"It seems the defendant became obsessed with Miss Suleman.

"It became known among other staff he was attracted to her.

"He told Miss Suleman he had feelings for her and wanted to marry her.

"She told the defendant she did not have feelings for him."

The court heard she then tried to avoid Khan as his mental health declined.

But Mr O'Brien Quinn said the defendant repeatedly threatened to kill Miss Suleman.

He lashed out when she arrived to hand in her notice on October 9 last year, leaving her with several skull fractures and a similar finger injury.

Mr O'Brien Quinn said: "He ran from his position at the till and selected a claw hammer from one of the aisles.

"He then ran after her"

He struck her twice in the head and launched a "determined and sustained" assault witnessed by a mum with three young children.

Mr O'Brien Quinn said Khan was seen by police officers in Digbeth ten minutes later - still holding the bloodstained weapon.

He said Miss Suleman had been severely affected by the attack and was still receiving counselling.

Graham Henson, defending, said Khan felt he had been rebuffed and it had been an "explosion" of spontaneous anger.

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