A thug has been found guilty of attacking a man in a Norwich nightclub, leaving him needing 38 stitches.

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Arfath Ali, pictured, who escaped from court at an earlier hearing into the assault, was out celebrating New Year’s Eve in Prince of Wales Road when he glassed his victim in the face in a fight over a girl.

The 29-year-old carried out the attack on Khaliav Thamir in Mojo’s nightclub after he took exception to him speaking to a girl on the dance floor, Norwich Crown Court heard.

The court was told how Ali, of Rosebay Close, Old Catton, glassed Mr Thamir after asking him why he had spoken to the girl.

Mr Thamir said he saw the glass coming towards him and raised his left hand but the glass broke in his face.

He said that he fell to the floor and was then helped by a doorman and taken to hospital, where he needed 38 stitches.

The court heard that Mr Thamir had picked out Ali at the nightclub as being his attacker and at a police ID parade.

But Ali denied the charge of wounding with intent and claimed it was a case of mistaken identity.

He said he was an innocent bystander.

Ali claimed a fight broke out and he was trying to protect his girlfriend.

He said there was screaming and bottles being thrown and he had pulled his girlfriend to safety and was trying to get out when he was grabbed by the doorman and accused of being the attacker.

Yesterday at Norwich Crown Court, a jury took under three hours to find Ali guilty.

At an earlier court hearing in April, while facing the assault charge, Ali managed to leap from the dock and escape from Norwich Crown Court.

Police put out an appeal for his capture and he was caught almost two weeks later at Asda in Ipswich.

He pleaded guilty to escaping and will be sentenced for the two offences on September 7.

Do you have a crime story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772439 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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