Manchester

Rochdale road rage peacemaker's axe attackers jailed

Wound suffered by Cameron Brooksbank Image copyright GMP
Image caption Cameron Brooksbank nearly died because of the amount of blood he lost after the attack

A tree surgeon nearly died in a "barbaric" axe attack when a road rage dispute turned a street into a battleground, a court heard.

Cameron Brooksbank, 20, stepped in to defend an elderly woman who was abused for her driving, in Rochdale.

But Habibur Rahman, of the town, felt "disrespected" and assembled up to 20 men for the attack, Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard.

One of the mob attacked Mr Brooksbank and almost chopped off his hand.

The attack took place in Church Road, Newbold, Rochdale, on 17 October, 2017.

Knives and machetes

Mohammed Awais Sajid, 23, removed an axe from beneath the waistband of his trousers and immediately attacked the defenceless tree surgeon, the court heard.

Sajid struck him in the ribs and then swung the weapon at his head. The blow was only averted as Mr Brooksbank raised his left arm to protect himself.

The assault almost completely severed his arm above the wrist and he nearly died because of the amount of blood he lost.

The tree surgeon staggered away and collapsed as he drifted in and out of consciousness, the jury was told.

"Instigator" Rahman, 27, assembled the mob after he was told to calm down by one of four tree surgeons working in the area.

A gang arrived carrying weapons including knives, machetes, a claw hammer, and an axe.

'Savage and barbaric'

The mob dispersed only when another of the tree surgeons started up a chainsaw, the court heard.

Sajid, of Kings Road, Rochdale, who had denied a charge of wounding with intent, was jailed for 18 years.

Judge John Potter told him: "This was a savage and barbaric act against a person who the evidence at trial suggests was acting as a peacemaker."

The judge told Rahman, of Milnrow Road, Rochdale, he was the instigator of the "dreadful, shocking outbreak of violence" and sentenced him to four and a half years in jail for conspiracy to commit violent disorder.

Rahman's brother Mohammed Zillur, 29, also of Milnrow Road, and Arslan Ali, 23, of Louise Avenue, Rochdale, were jailed for four years and three years after they were also convicted of conspiracy to commit violent disorder.

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