Regent Street hammer attacker jailed for 13 years

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Morteza attacked two people in a pub in Glasshouse Street

A man who sexually assaulted two women and carried out a series of hammer attacks in central London has been jailed.

Morteza Ahmadi, 39, randomly targeted pedestrians and pub-goers in and around Regent Street on 1 October 2021.

Two of his victims suffered fractured skulls, with one requiring plastic surgery to cover a deep scar.

Ahmadi, who had previously pleaded guilty to various charges, was jailed for 13 years at Southwark Crown Court.

The first attack took place outside Hamley's toy shop at about 22:40 GMT where he groped a woman on her buttocks before hitting her on the head with a hammer.

Shortly afterwards he attacked another woman on Regent Street, striking her in the face with the weapon.

In the third incident, he visited the nearby Leicester Arms and slapped a woman's bottom, before buying a drink and sitting next to a couple. He then hit the woman over the head with the hammer and attacked her partner, before departing the pub and leaving the bloodied hammer behind.

The pub manager and other members of the public caught Ahmadi on nearby Air Street and pinned him down until police arrived. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said he was "laughing" as he was arrested.

'Lucky to be alive'

During police interviews, Ahmadi told officers he had been drunk and homeless, and that the police had not helped him, the CPS added.

Edward Cohen, a senior crown prosecutor for the CPS, said: "These were violent, premediated and unprovoked attacks on people just going about their day-to-day life in the middle of London on a busy Saturday night. They are lucky to be alive, and will now be left with the mental scars of that night.

"A number of the victims have since reported social anxiety and one victim has even said she now fears standing up for herself in the event she is subjected to a violent reprisal at the hands of a man."

Morteza, of no fixed address, previously admitted two counts of sexual assault, two counts of actual bodily harm, two counts of grievous bodily harm and one count of possessing an offensive weapon.

In addition to his jail sentence he was ordered to serve a further five years on licence.

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