Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Row over Right of Way on Road Led to Machete Horror

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Row over Right of Way on Road Led to Machete Horror

Article excerpt

Byline: Gareth Lightfoot Court reporter

A ROAD row over right of way on a tight Teesside street led to a machete attack, jurors heard in an attempted murder trial.

Zhirko Mehrabani told how his closest friend was hit to the head with a machete following the motoring dispute.

He said his friend Nawzadi Haidari and Sirous Alizadeh got out of their vehicles and argued on Waterloo Road, central Middlesbrough. "It was over who's got priority to pass," Mr Mehrabani told Teesside Crown Court.

He was a passenger in Mr Haidari's Ford Focus RS sports car, which met Alizadeh's Ford Transit van on June 4. He said there was no violence at that point as both drivers were held by passengers. In the trial, each of the motorists says the other shouted and made a challenge to fight and a threat to kill.

Alizadeh, 27, and two other men are accused of trying to kill Mr Haidari on nearby Victoria Road later that evening. There, said Mr Mehrabani, he held a barbers' shop door to stop Alizadeh getting out holding a pair of scissors.

He said Alizadeh was angry, screaming and talking on his phone before a dark BMW car arrived and two men got out.

He told jurors the passenger had two knives, he handed one - a 2ft machete - to Alizadeh, and Alizadeh attacked Mr Haidari with the weapon.

"He hit Nawzadi with that knife. He hit Nawzadi on the head and on his arm, and fingers.

Three times," Mr Mehrabani said in the witness box.

He added that the car passenger attacked Mr Haidari's brother Shazad Ismail with the smaller knife he was holding.

He said yesterday the passenger was trying to stab Mr Ismail, directing the knife to his chest upwards, and "striking the knife towards his neck".

Mr Haidari suffered a fractured skull and cuts, while Mr Ismail was not injured.

Mr Mehrabani said the BMW driver stood behind the passenger "to control the situation" when they got out of the car.

He said the driver did nothing until he said, "Hurry up, we're going to have to go," then the three men got back into the car and drove off. …

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