Asylum seeker jailed after slashing elderly former partner with broken glass in Great Yarmouth

Hemin Sharif was jailed for five years and 10 months. Picture: Norfolk Police

Hemin Sharif was jailed for five years and 10 months. Picture: Norfolk Police - Credit: Archant

A 29-year-old asylum seeker who escaped persecution in Iran for being gay has been jailed for more than five years after slashing his elderly former partner in the face with broken glass in a 'horrific' attack.

Hemin Sharif had sought asylum in Britain seven years ago and settled in Gateshead after being granted a temporary visa, Norwich Crown Court heard.

After accessing gay online dating sites, he formed a relationship and became 'utterly besotted' with 60-year-old Paul Coe - but Sharif became abusive, with coercive and aggressive behaviour.

Mr Coe fled from Gateshead to Norfolk to escape Sharif's advances last December but within days he was followed to Great Yarmouth.

Two days after he had been due to be sentenced for stalking, on March 31, Sharif found Mr Coe on Great Yarmouth seafront and subjected him to a 'rain of blows with a shard of glass'.

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Jailing Sharif, Judge Anthony Bate said: 'It is by great good fortune there was no abiding injuries. At least there has been a dawning into the impact of your conduct and a final acceptance this relationship is forever over.'

Prosecutor Isobel Ascherson told the court Mr Coe had moved to Norfolk as he was 'intimidated and fearful'.

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'There was a trial in February of this year at King's Lynn Magistrates' Court where the defendant was convicted of stalking,' she said. 'There had due to be a sentencing hearing on March 29, which was adjourned.

'Mr Coe was immediately concerned what the defendant was going to do. He was, of course, right in his fears. The entire family lived in fear between the violent attack and his arrest and incarceration.'

Oliver Haswell, mitigating for Sharif, said he had led a 'blameless life until over a period of six months he lost touch with reality'.

'For the first time in his life he had found true love,' he said. 'He sat listening to the evidence and found out his love was poisonous. He was obsessed and simply unable to read the signs. It reads as someone who did not believe showing undying love for someone was tantamount to harassment.'

Sharif, of Vine Street, Gateshead, was jailed for five years and six months after admitting inflicting grievous bodily harm, and four months to run consecutively for stalking. A restraining order was also put in place.

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