‘I will kill you all’ – what Sheffield machete attacker yelled inside McDonald’s as people fled in terror

The Star | 23 Aug 2019 |

[T]he defendant had come to the UK with his father and was ‘doing well’ until he fell in with the wrong crowd and started taking cannabis and then spice.

Daouda Sy sent terrified shoppers fleeing in fear of their lives, believing they were in the midst of a terrorist atrocity, as he launched the unprovoked attack on High Street, Sheffield, on the morning of January 31 this year.

The 21-year-old, of Wensley Street, in Grimesthorpe, was today jailed for 12 years after he admitted wounding with intent and possessing an offensive weapon.

Sheffield Crown Court heard how he had been high on spice, a synthetic form of cannabis, that morning when he went into the city centre intent upon attacking someone with the ‘murderous’ weapon, which had an 18-inch curved blade.

Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, told how Sy was walking past a busy bus stop on the High Street at about 9.30am when he made eye contact with a 47-year-old man waiting there and shouted ‘you don’t believe in God’ before drawing the machete and stricking him powerfully over the head, leaving him with a two-and-a-half inch gash above the ear.

The terrified victim, who was bleeding heavily, fled into the neighbouring branch of McDonald’s along with other ‘hysterical’ bystanders.

Sy followed them inside still brandishing the weapon, which he banged on a handrail, and shouted ‘if you don’t believe in God… I will kill you all… you best believe in Allah’.

He then calmly turned and left the store before crossing the road and walking down the street towards the Fitzalan Square tram stop, holding the machete by his side, until he was tackled by police who were on the scene within about 90 seconds and ordered him to drop the weapon, which he did, before pinning him to the ground.

Mr Sharp described how Sy, who was born in Guinea and came to the UK aged 18 with his father, had previously been arrested for brandishing an axe on High Street, Sheffield, on March 29 last year, for which he was sentenced to a 12-month community order.

The court also heard how the defendant had been arrested and released under investigation over allegations that he was in the street carrying two machetes on December 8, 2018.

Sentencing Sy for what he described as a ‘truly wicked attack’ with a ‘murderous weapon’, Judge Jeremy Richardson, the Recorder of Sheffield, said: “Not only was the victim injured as a result of your actions, ordinary members of the public who were in the city centre that morning were utterly terrified by your conduct.

“Those involved thought they were in the midst of a terrorist outrage and, having seen the DVD recording of the incident, I can wholly understand why they were utterly terrified.”

He continued: “Your intention that day was as clear as clear could be, and that was to attack anyone in the city centre.”

He added that it was highly likely the secretary of state would order Sy’s deportation back to his native country.

Sy, who was wearing a grey Gucci jumper and sat during the judge’s remarks with his hands clasped to his mouth, as if in prayer, said as the sentence was revealed ‘I didn’t mean to do it. I’m sorry’.

A video played in court showed panic-stricken members of the public scurrying into McDonald’s, followed by Sy, who was later seen to emerge and walk calmly away.

Mr Sharp said: “McDonald’s was busy that morning and numerous witnesses spoke about their terror at seeing the defendant speaking and behaving as he did.

“More than one thought a terrorist incident was taking place and that the lives of many wer [sic] in danger.

“One person was hyperventilating and had to use a paper bag to allow her to breathe. Several McDonald’s staff had to be sent home suffering from shock.

“The general reaction can be summed up by two witnesses who were inside McDonald’s.

“One said ‘I think the most terrifying part of this is that he could have attacked anyone and we were right there’.

“Another, who had run away and hidden in the toilets, said ‘I thought I was going to walk upstairs and find everybody dead’, while a third said ‘I honestly felt like I was going to die in a massacre’.”

The court heard how Sy was made the subject of an interim hospital order and admitted to Wathwood Hospital but psychologists concluded there was ‘nothing mentally wrong with him’ and his behaviour that morning was ‘wholly induced by his consumption of spice’.

Errol Ballentyne, defending, told how Sy could not remember anything from that morning and was ‘contrite’ and ‘full of remorse’.

He said the defendant had come to the UK with his father and was ‘doing well’ until he fell in with the wrong crowd and started taking cannabis and then spice.

He told how Sy had been the victim of racist chants from residents after moving to a council home and was himself the victim of a machete attack at a local shop on December 8 last year in which his hand was cut to the bone.

He claimed it was after this that the defendant had started arming himself for his own defence.

Speaking outside the court, Mr Sharp said: “Daouda Sy was a regular user of the street drug spice and was well aware of the effect it had on him, having already been prosecuted for brandishing an axe whilst under its influence in March 2018.

“This was an entirely unprovoked and vicious attack, and it is only by great good fortune that the consequences were not more serious still.

“Sy also put many bystanders in genuine fear of their lives that day through his actions. He is clearly an unstable individual when under the influence of drugs. The sentenced passed today underlines the gravity of his offending.”

Sy was sentenced to 12 years in prison for wounding with intent, two years for possessing an offensive weapon and 12 months for breaching the community order issued following the earlier offence, with all sentences to run concurrently.

He was also charged with a third count of affray, which was left to lie on file.

https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/crime/i-will-kill-you-all-what-sheffield-machete-attacker-yelled-inside-mcdonalds-as-people-fled-in-terror-491890

Man jailed after skunk-induced attack on vulnerable man with whiskey bottle

Gloucestershire Live | 9 Sep 2017 |

“It is an illustration of the dangers of smoking cannabis.”

Martin Francis has been jailed for ten years after hitting a vulnerable man over the head with a whiskey bottle in his own home in a drug-induced random attack.

Francis, 41, described as a ‘quiet and gentle family man’, assaulted Akinjide Otuneyinwa after taking some strong skunk cannabis, Gloucester crown court was told.

Mr Otuneyinwa, who is in his sixties and has an electric pump attached to his heart, was hit over the head twice with the bottle and kicked by Francis.

At the trial last month father of four Francis, of Great Western Road, Gloucester, was convicted by a jury of wounding Mr Otuneyinwa with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm on September 23 last year.

Mr Otuneyinwa was having supper and watching TV when Francis walked into his house in St Philips close, Hucclecote.

The householder was shocked to see Francis pick up a whiskey bottle, walk over to him and hit him over the head.

Mr Otuneyinwa fled the house and ran onto his driveway while his shocked five-year-old son watched on.

Francis chased after him and hit him again with the Jack Daniels bottle, knocking him to the ground and then kicked him.

Mr Otuneyinwa managed to get to his feet and flee to the home of neighbour Jean Young.

Bleeding profusely from a gash on the back of his head he smashed a pane of glass in her front door in his desperation to get help.

On Friday, dreadlocked Francis was back in the dock for sentence and his barrister, George Threlfall, urged the court not to pass as long a jail term as the 9-16 year bracket in the sentencing guidelines suggested.

“This is an unusual case because the defendant is not a man who is habitually given to violence or going into peoples’ houses,” said the barrister.

“I think I can say as a matter of common sense that this offence was drug related, without a shadow of a doubt.”

Judge Jamie Tabor QC said he agreed, with the evidence at the trial showing Francis was agitated, disturbed and incoherent that day.

He said the scenario appeared to be that on his way to visit a poorly cousin in St Philip’s Close, Francis had witnessed a road accident and had been so disturbed by it he stopped and smoked some cannabis which he found to be unusually strong.

He then arrived at his aunt’s house, was upset by the condition of his cousin, and went out to smoke again – before wandering into Mr Otuneyinwa’s home by mistake.

Mr Threlfall said “He had smoked some skunk on route to his aunt’s house.

“It was stronger than he was used to and clearly took him by surprise – it ambushed him and destabilised his equilibrium.

“It is an illustration of the dangers of smoking cannabis.”

Francis was ‘deeply and genuinely remorseful’ about what he had done, the barrister said.

“Everyone who knows him speaks of him as a gentle, kind and loving partner and father. His relationship with his partner is solid and will endure the long separation while he is incarcerated.

“He is absolutely determined to stop smoking cannabis and to take advantage of the time in prison to overcome his dyslexia and learn to read.”

Sam Small, prosecuting, said Mr Otuneyinwa and his family had been so traumatised by the incident that they feel they will have to move house before Francis is released from prison.

Jailing Francis for ten years the judge told him “Mr Otuneyinwa’s life has been turned upside down by this. He has installed burglar alarms and bought himself a dog to protect himself and his young boy who was in the house at the time and was aware of something terrible taking place.

“Your childrens’ [sic] lives and indeed your partner’s life and your own have also been transformed – all because you decided to continue to break the law and smoke this drug.”

Francis blew a kiss to the public gallery before being taken to the cells.

https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/gloucester-news/man-jailed-after-skunk-induced-450245

Yet another mad, ‘motive-less’ murder in which nobody asks about drugs

Last month a 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named, was found guilty of murdering a stranger in London and sentenced to six years in prison. The case has all the hallmarks – random, unprovoked, savage – of a young mind deranged from smoking cannabis, but, once again, nobody has bothered to investigate (or, if they have, report) whether the boy, aged 16 at the time of the murder, has ever taken mind-altering drugs.

https://www.mylondon.news/news/north-london-news/teenager-jailed-after-stabbing-chingford-16218891