Bristol Gumtree stab victim 'still has nightmares'

Srinivas Ganta Image copyright Srinivas Ganta
Image caption Srinivas Ganta said he "didn't want to risk his life for a phone"

A man who was robbed at knifepoint and stabbed when he tried to sell his phone on Gumtree has said he is "still suffering from nightmares".

Srinivas Ganta was targeted by Jalees Ahmad in Bristol in March after trying to sell the phone to raise money for his daughter's birthday.

Ahmad was jailed last month for a series of knifepoint robberies on people he had chosen from social media.

Mr Ganta said he was speaking out to make sure other people "stayed safe".

Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption Jalees Ahmad carried out the knifepoint robberies over a 12-day period in March

The self-employed business consultant said he had used Gumtree "so many times without a problem" but was "scared of it now".

He said after putting the advert on the classified ad website, he was sent a message via Gumtree messenger from Ahmad who used the name "Victoria".

Mr Ganta said they exchanged phone numbers but when he called a man who claimed to be Victoria's partner answered and arranged a meeting place.

He said: "When I showed him [Ahmad] the phone, he tried to snatch it. He punched me and I punched him back. Two more men appeared and tried to blindfold me."

Image copyright Srinivas Ganta
Image caption Srinivas Ganta wanted to use the money from selling his phone for his daughter Chaarvi's birthday

Mr Ganta realised Ahmad had produced a knife after noticing his own hand was bleeding. He said the other two people ran off with the phone but Ahmad "still wanted to attack".

"I didn't want to risk my life for a phone. I've got two kids, I'm not that kind of person. I still suffer from nightmares," he said.

Ahmad ran off after stabbing him in the leg and Mr Ganta had to have eight stitches.

Image caption Srininvas Ganta kept screenshots of the Gumtree messenger conversation with Ahmad

A Gumtree spokesman said: "We take the safety of our users extremely seriously and we are pleased to see the perpetrator of this appalling crime brought to justice."

Avon and Somerset Police said anyone selling items online should meet buyers in a public place and "tell someone where you are going".

Ahmad was sentenced to 10 years in prison at Bristol Crown Court last month.

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