A VIOLENT criminal who attacked a man with a hammer outside a car hire firm has been jailed for 18 months.
Omar Ali, of Selwyn Street, Eastwood, hit his victim on the side of the head with the tool in the forecourt of the Enterprise outlet in Rotherham town centre in April – just three months after being released from prison on licence.
Sheffield Crown Court heard Ali (28, pictured) had been freed in January after serving time for drug dealing.
The court heard the victim had been in a dispute with a friend of Ali’s a few years ago but Recorder Craig Hassall told Ali the disagreement had been settled and there was “no such ill feeling that could justify you to use a hammer to inflict and injury on him in this incident”.
Mr Brian Russell, prosecuting, said the complainant had approached the car and asked Ali: “Are you all right?”
Further words were exchanged, he said, before Ali got out of his car and hit the victim on the side of the head, causing him to be “momentarily” unconscious.
The incident was captured on CCTV and witnessed by a member of the public who called 999.
When arrested and interviewed, Ali claimed “people knew he had been in jail and wanted to see him fail so they were making up allegations,” Mr Russell told Sheffield Crown Court last Wednesday
Ms Rebecca Tanner, mitigating, appealed to the judge to keep the sentence as short as possible, pointing out Ali had only struck one blow.
Recorder Hassall jailed Ali for 18 months for wounding and to two months – to run concurrent – for breaching a serious crime prevention order by failing to notify police of a new mobile phone he had bought.
He said: “This was an ugly incident that took place in the forecourt of a car hire business.
“It seems from what I’ve heard that you had previously been involved in a dispute with the complainant on behalf of a friend of yours.
“That had been settled before you were imprisoned in 2018 for drug trafficking no explanation has been put forward as why there was any ill feeling.
“I’ve heard no explanation for why you were driving with a hammer in your glove compartment.”
Det Con Rachel Scott said afterwards: “This was a horrific, frenzied attack that could easily have had a tragic outcome.
“Omar Ali demonstrated a blatant disregard for the victim’s welfare and will now have a prolonged period behind bars to consider his actions.”