POLICE had to Taser a knife-wielding man on a busy platform at Keighley railway station after he threatened a Travel Safe Officer with the weapon and refused to drop it, Bradford Crown Court heard.
Fayez Shofi was first repeatedly struck with a police baton after telling the rail official: “I will stab you”, while members of the public were nearby.
Dramatic footage of the moment Shofi was Tasered to the ground was captured by reader Damon Ralph who was waiting for a train to Skipton.
Shofi, 30, of Lister Avenue, East Bowling, Bradford, pleaded guilty to threatening with a bladed article at 6pm on April 12.
He was sentenced to two months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, at Bradford Crown Court yesterday.
Prosecutor Holly Clegg said Shofi was “patiently and calmly” told to stop smoking.
He held the cigarette behind his back and then threw it on the ground in front of the transport officer.
When the train arrived, Shofi was refused permission to get on it because he had broken railway by-laws.
He became agitated and was asked to leave the station.
Shofi, an asylum seeker who needed a Bengali interpreter for the court hearing, said: “You are not police. You can’t make me do this.”
He then drew out the kitchen knife and threatened: “I will stab you,” and held it towards the Travel Safe Officer’s face.
The officer called 999 and the police arrived to find Shofi holding the knife by his side on the platform.
Miss Clegg said that many members of the public were unaware that he had the knife, but an elderly woman sought assistance from railway staff who escorted her to safety.
The police struck Shofi on the hand with a baton but he continued to keep hold of the weapon.
When he moved closer to an officer, he was Tasered. He dropped to the ground and the knife was kicked away.
Miss Clegg said the rail officer was wearing a stab vest but feared that he could have been knifed in the neck.
Shofi’s solicitor advocate, Ashok Khullar, said his client was living in a hostel for asylum seekers and he carried the knife because he was afraid of the other residents and thought they were stealing from him.
He had suffered mental health issues in the past and was very sorry for his behaviour.
Judge David Hatton QC said the Travel Safe Officer was distressed and alarmed by the experience.
Parliament had dictated that Shofi should be jailed for at least six months for the offence unless it was “unjust” to do so.
Judge Hatton said it was an isolated incident, wholly out if character, from a man with no previous convictions.
A psychiatrist had concluded that Shofi was vulnerable with a history of mental illness and the judge said it would be unjust to impose an immediate prison term.