An Afghan asylum seeker "fueled" by a desire to kill Englishmen was caught on video surveillance with a knife in a Tesco extra.
Samiulahaq Akbari, 22, who arrived in the UK after fleeing Afghanistan in 2016, was sentenced to 19 years' imprisonment yesterday with an extended two-year license.
The surveillance camera video on January 8 shows Akbari entering the supermarket in Thornton Heath in south London, behind customer Nicholas Speight.
He pats Mr. Speight on the shoulder and asks about his nationality.
Shortly after Mr. Speight had told him he was from Britain, Akbari pulled out a 10-inch kitchen knife and tried to stab the victim.
As they fought, the two fell to the ground and Mr. Speight managed to beat Akbari before he got away unhurt.
A court has learned that Akbari had previously caught two other men with a knife – first in a kebab restaurant and second in the pub Plow on the Pond in Croydon.
Prosecutor Heidi Stonecliffe told the jury, "On that evening in January of that year, this accused deliberately set out to threaten, injure and kill members of the public on grounds of their nationality or because of their nationality, which was Mr Akbari – they were Englishmen "
Akbari was convicted of attempted murder on the brink of rampage, which took place only 12 days after his release from prison for another attack.
Judge Mark Dennis QC, who detained him for 19 years, said, "The report about you says that you have a deep fixation that has led to serious violent situations when drinking alcohol.
"It was just a coincidence that no serious injury was caused when trying to do serious damage or kill someone."
Akbari had addressed John Hoy for the first time sitting at a table in the kebab restaurant. Three buddies had just finished a billiard tournament in the pub near the food.
The jury heard that he "aggressively and repeatedly" asked Mr. Hoy where he was from before he went behind the counter, armed himself with the huge red-handled knife and nudged him.
One of the men tried to calm Akbari by saying that Mr. Hoy was "one of us," but it was not until the men hit back that Akbari fled, Ms. Stonecliffe said.
Akbari then made his way to the pub where he faced Barry Watkins as he was on his way out, clutching his cue and suitcase.
The jury was shown CCTV footage of him, as he brought back Mr. Watkins to a group of men, where he also asked to know their nationality.
"He and his friends replied that they were English, and at that point the accused began to stab them with a knife," said Ms. Stonecliffe.
The group "perhaps a little heroic" managed to make a table between themselves and the Messermann and forced Akbari to escape again.
Akbari claimed he was "too drunk" to kill the intent, but the prosecutor said his actions were "deliberate and deliberate."
"He knew exactly what he was doing and he was careful not to get caught."
Ms. Stonecliffe read excerpts from the minutes of Akbari's cousin's "frantic" 999 calls, telling the operator, "He said he wanted to kill the English people, I can see his eyes, he means it."
In another he asks: "He will do it, he tries to run and he will kill someone, please come quickly."
Mr. Speight described in a statement how he was seized with fear during the attack and said to himself: "That was it and I was about to die."
When Akbari presented evidence, he claimed that he had "not taken his medication" and was drunk at the time.
"My mind did not work properly," he said.