AFTER a dispute about paperwork, a restaurant worker harassed and accused his boss of running a brothel.
Bilal Zawi then scratched his housemate’s face with a kitchen knife. Swansea Crown Court heard the 21-year-old had a horrific life in Libya’s civil war before coming to Italy by water as a youngster and travelling through Switzerland, Germany, and France to the UK.
Prosecutor David Singh told the court that Zawi started working at a Cathays restaurant in August. The restaurant owner told his new employee he would need to present specific documentation, but a fight over the paperwork swiftly escalated. Zawi exited the restaurant, grabbing the owner’s wife’s back and called her a prostitute, then left angry phone messages minutes later. Over the next few days, the defendant called the restaurant owner and threatened to kill him, “stab him 50 times,” and bomb his house with his children inside. He threatened to lie about the boss’s wife being a prostitute.
Bilal was arrested at the end of October and admitted to making angry calls but accused his former employer of running a brothel. March saw his charges.
Mr. Singh claimed Zawi and a housemate argued in his Swansea kitchen days after being charged. The defendant grabbed a knife and threatened to kill his flatmate before “swinging” it. The knife scratched the victim’s face, the court heard.
Bilal Zawi, of Robert Street, Manselton, Swansea, pleaded guilty to common assault, harassment, and ABH before being sentenced. No foreign or domestic convictions.
Zawi’s attorney, Richard Ace, claimed the defendant was from Benghazi, Libya, and raised by his grandparents after his mother’s death. His client had a “troubled early life” and saw “severe bloodshed” during the Libyan civil war before escaping by boat to Italy aged 15 without relatives. After a year with an Italian family, Zawi worked in Switzerland, Germany, and France. After four months in an asylum seekers camp in Pembrokeshire, the defendant relocated to Cardiff and subsequently Swansea, the barrister claimed. Read about the controversial asylum seekers camp here. Mr. Ace called Zawi “troubled young guy who wishes to live a law-abiding life in our nation”.
Recorder Ifan Wyn Lloyd Jones told the defendant he had harassed him by sending “extremely unpleasant, offensive and threatening” communications. He claimed two days after being charged over those issues, Zawi lost his anger in his shared residence and armed himself with a knife, scratching his victim’s face in an event that “could have been a lot worse”. The recorder read about the defendant’s difficult upbringing and mother’s death, but he also highlighted his alcohol and cannabis abuse, which “did not help”.
Zawi was sentenced to 36 weeks in jail for common assault, harassment, and ABH, with a 20% discount for his guilty pleas. The defendant will serve half of the 36 weeks in jail before being released on parole to serve the rest.