Sikh who stabbed woman with ceremonial dagger in neighbour dispute is jailed for six years

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A Sikh who twice stabbed a woman with a ceremonial dagger when a neighbours' dispute exploded into violence was starting a six-year jail sentence today.

Kalli-Rae Lavin almost lost a leg after being knifed twice while kicking out in a bid to stop Dilraj Sihota from attacking her, a judge heard.

She had just got into a Renault Clio outside the shop where she worked in Hawes Close, Walsall, when she saw the 22-year-old, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

Dilraj Sihota

"She screamed, 'He is coming, he has got a knife," revealed Mr Lal Amarasinghe, prosecuting. Sihota pulled open the car door and Miss Lavin later told police: "It was only because I kicked out that he got my leg and not my neck or body."

"The defendant had been heard to repeatedly shout: "I am going to kill her," continued the prosecutor. Sihota ran away from the scene but was quickly found hiding in the front garden of his home in nearby West Bromwich Road, where Miss Lavin also lived.

The two families had been involved in a long running feud before the allegedly 'chance' meeting after the victim finished work on the evening of April 14.

The victim was in hospital for four-and-a-half weeks and has had five operations requiring more than 100 stitches after complications with the wounds that included a blood clot 'the size of a lemon' that led to warnings the leg might have to be amputated, concluded Mr Amarasinghe.

Mr Timothy Raggatt QC, defending Sihota, said: "He grossly misused something that is perfectly legitimate for Sikh men to carry but this attack that lasted only moments. This was a chance meeting. Something prompted what happened but what he did was out of all proportion to whatever had been said or gestured. This was an episode of madness."

Sihota pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and possession of a bladed article and was sent to prison by Recorder Benjamin Nicholls who also imposed a restraining order banning him from any contact with the victim.

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