Man jailed for Regent Street hammer attack
A man who sexually assaulted two women and carried out random hammer attacks on pubgoers and pedestrians has been jailed for 13 years.
Morteza Ahmadi, 39, targeted his victims in and around Regent Street on Saturday, 1 October 2021.
Today (Friday, 13 May 2022) at Southwark Crown Court he was sentenced to 13 years in custody and a further five years on extended licence. He had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault, two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of grievous bodily harm as well as possessing an offensive weapon.
In the first attack he groped a woman outside Hamley’s toy shop before taking a hammer out of his rucksack and hitting her over the head at around 10.40pm.
He then continued less than 50 metres down Regent Street before attacking another woman with the hammer to her face just outside the Levi’s clothing shop.
In the third incident Morteza visited the Leicester Arms nearby and sexually assaulted a woman before buying a pint and settling next to a couple. He hit the woman forcefully over the head with the hammer and also attacked her partner before calmly leaving the pub.
He left the bloodied hammer inside the pub as he left.
The pub manager and members of the public caught Morteza nearby along Air Street and pinned him down until police arrived. Morteza was laughing as he was arrested just before 11pm.
Two of the female victims suffered fractured skulls during the attacks, with one also receiving plastic surgery to cover a deep scar.
Edward Cohen, from 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 attack at the hands of a man.
“Morteza Ahmadi appeared to be targeting women, but quite what possessed him to carry out these senseless hammer attacks is unknown. During police interview he told officers that he had been drunk and homeless and that the police had not helped him.
“The prosecution case included CCTV footage, medical evidence and witness testimony, which left Ahmadi little choice but to admit his guilt.
“I hope this this prosecution gives victims the confidence that the police and CPS will do whatever it takes to root out violent offenders and make sure they face justice.”
Notes to editors
- Morteza Ahmadi (DOB: 2/3/1983) is an Afghan national of no fixed accommodation
- Edward Cohen is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the Crown Court unit in CPS London South.