Judge hits out over attacker

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A DANGEROUS woman beater who sacked his barrister shortly before an appeal hearing has been slammed for wasting public funds by a top judge, who told him: “The country is running out of money!”

Lord Justice Treacy hit out at Hardi Ibrahim Gharib at London’s Court of Appeal after the 20-year-old – jailed for stabbing his girlfriend in the face – asked for his case to be adjourned, having decided to change his publicly-funded barrister at the last minute.

Gharib, of Harlech Avenue, Blackpool, was jailed indefinitely for public protection at Preston Crown Court in May last year after he was convicted of wounding with intent over the brutal attack on his girlfriend.

But three of the country’s most senior judges, due to hear an appeal against his sentence, were told Gharib wanted to do away with his barrister and instruct new counsel to represent him.

Lord Justice Treacy told him: “This is public money we are talking about. The public is paying. You don’t have the freedom simply to change your lawyer without permission from the court.

“Your barrister has come today from the north of England and we are told you do not want him and you want another barrister to represent you. But it will all have an additional expense. The country is running out of money!”

Gharib was ordered to serve a minimum of seven years before his release would even be considered after the Crown Court heard he grabbed his girlfriend around the throat, ripped out clumps of her hair and stabbed her in the face and shoulder in a jealous rage.

Gharib denied the attack, claiming the wounds were self-inflicted, but failed to convince the jury.

Despite the stinging rebuke, the Appeal Court judge, sitting with Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart and Sir Geoffrey Grigson, granted Gharib an adjournment.

He said: “Gharib wishes for an adjournment. With some hesitation we have agreed to grant it.”

His appeal will now be heard at a later date.

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