Violent end to Leeds friends’ row over birthday

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A MAN left his friend with serious cuts to his hands after threatening him with a knife as he drove his car during a row over a birthday party.

Victim Wesley Hussain needed surgery after cutting tendons in his hand as he grabbed the blade of the kitchen knife in a bid to defend himself from threats made by Matthew Clark-Russam.

Leeds Crown Court heard the two were close friends but fell out after Clark-Russam failed to attend Mr Hussain’s birthday party.

Austin Newman, prosecuting, said Clark-Russam called Mr Hussain on April 19 this year to apologise and and wish his friend a happy birthday but was told: “Don’t bother.”

Clark-Russam then went Mr Hussain’s home and confronted him outside his home in Horsforth.

He approached Mr Hussain as he was in his car and became aggressive. He got into the passenger seat and told Mr Hussain to take him to a shop to buy cigarettes.

He then pulled a four-inch knife from his waistband and pointed it towards Mr Hussain. The vehicle was still moving at the time and Mr Hussain grabbed hold of the blade with one hand while trying to bring the car to a stop.

Clark-Russam pulled the blade away as the victim was still holding onto it, causing a deep cut to his thumb and hand.

He then ran off as Mr Hussain was bleeding heavily for the wounds.

Clark Russam was arrested at his home on Alderton Heights, Moortown, but refused to comment on the incident.

He pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Michael Walsh, mitigating, said Clark-Russam had a number of mental health problems, for which he was receiving treatment.

He said his client was hoping to move to live with family in Buckinghamshire, where he would be able to work and continue to receive treatment.

Clark-Russam was made 
the subject of an 18-month 
community and supervision order.

He said: “This is a very serious and concerning offence.”

He added: “I accept that it was a cause of your mental health issues that have caused you to get yourself to get so angry and upset.

“Please understand that the courts are very, very concerned about those who carry knives around and inflict injuries as a result of that.

“There was only one person responsible for that injury and that person was you.”

WARNING: Dee Collins, Chief Constable of West Yorkshire

Cuts are piling extra pressure on my exhausted officers, says West Yorkshire Chief Constable