Worker stabbed colleague after production line row at chicken factory
A father of seven has been jailed for 19 months after stabbing the man working next to him on a factory production line.
Mohammed Mirza and Mohammad Shahzad had fallen out over the standard of their work and the alleged short changing of one by the other, a judge heard.
The pair were employed on the preparation line at the Salisbury Poultry plant in Vulcan Road, Bilston, where staff have sharp boning knives and wear gloves reinforced with metal to protect them, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.
When the disagreement resurfaced, father of seven Mirza put down his knife, stared at Mr Shahzad and punched him with no great force, said Mr Graham Russell, prosecuting.
Then the other man hit him back so hard it floored him, continued the prosecutor.
The court heard the defendant then picked up his knife and delivered a swinging blow which stuck Mr Shahzad in the neck causing serious injury.
Fellow workers broke up the brawl and took the knife from Mirza while it was discovered that the wound had damaged the nerves in the neck and jaw of the victim.
This left him with difficulty eating because he could not open his mouth properly. He also suffered weakness in his shoulder and left arm, revealed Mr Russell.
Miss Samantha Forsyth, defending, said 48-year-old Mirza, who was of previous good character, came from a decent family and had brought shame on both them and himself.
She added: “This is not a case of a young man taking a knife onto the streets.
“It is an incident which occurred at a place where there are knives because of the nature of the job. He was knocked off his feet and others working nearby intervened.”
The defendant was dismissed as a result of the clash and has been left by his wife but managed to find another job in a warehouse, revealed Miss Forsyth.
Mirza, from Caldmore Green, Walsall, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and was jailed by Judge James Burbidge QC who told him: “It is always sad and disappointing when a man of your age with exemplary character comes before the court for a very serious offence.
“The injured party says he feels lucky to be alive and he is right.
“The use of the knife and the harm caused was so serious that, despite your family responsibilities, the sentence cannot be suspended.”
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