May 25 2016 – 12:00AM
A man who slashed a woman’s throat with a machete in a violent rampage in Canberra’s north spent four years at an immigration detention centre and had been in the midst of a family dispute, a court heard.
Imran Hakimi, 33, yelled and made threats as he randomly hacked at cars with a machete and a paring knife as they drove through Belconnen about 11.20pm on November 13 last year.
Court documents said Hakimi used the machete to hit the window and door frame of one woman’s car, before he opened the car door and held the knife against her throat.
The blade caused a cut to her throat, drawing blood, but had not been deep enough to cause serious injury.
The woman fled and Hakimi next attacked a taxi, striking the bonnet with the knife, before opening the driver side door, and yelling: “I have lost my kids, I will stab you, you black c—.”
He then struck at the taxi driver, cutting the man’s chin.
The driver grabbed his wrist and pulled him into the vehicle.
Two taxi passengers then pulled Hakimi from the car and restrained him, before two other men joined in. They subdued Hakimi until police arrived.
Hakimi pleaded guilty in the ACT Magistrates Court to nine charges linked to the rampage, including intentional wounding, possessing a weapon with intent, and property damage.
He appeared before Justice John Burns for a sentence hearing in the ACT Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Prosecutor Katrina McKenzie said Hakimi’s behaviour had been aggressive, agitated, forceful and he had acted in close proximity to his victims, placing the offences at the upper end of mid-range seriousness.
She noted the random nature of the attack on victims “just going about their business”, although she said there had been no evidence the rampage had been planned.
“It really crystallises the anger the offender felt at the time, he was going to take that anger out on whoever was in front of him,” she said.
Hakimi’s defence barrister James Sabharwal said the attack had been “a bizarre episode” and his client had been in a highly-charged, emotional state at the time.
He said Hakimi had spent four years at Woomera immigration detention centre in South Australia before he moved to the ACT more than a decade ago.
His client had since been diagnosed with a major depressive disorder and was under significant stress linked to a family court case, which appeared to have contributed to the “horrendous attack”, Mr Sabharwal said.
The court heard Hakimi had consumed alcohol on the night but was so agitated at the time of his arrest he had been unable to be subjected to a blood-alcohol test.
Mr Sabharwal asked the court to take into account his client’s early guilty pleas and the fact he’d been in custody since his arrest.
A family friend, who had known Hakimi for 15 years, told the court Hakimi was a kind, caring and respectful man who had a traumatic journey to Australia as a teenager and had struggled with mental illness.
The friend said the family had been “shocked and saddened” when they learned of the attack, which he described as “completely out of character”.
Justice Burns agreed the incident was bizarre given Hakimi did not have a history of violent offending and appeared to otherwise be of good character.
He questioned whether the attack could have been triggered by alcohol consumption, with Hakimi’s frustration over the court case and mental health problems as background factors.
Justice Burns will hand down his sentence next month.
Source : Canberra Times