"the defendant reached out and picked up the knife"
Kuljeet Khurana, aged 42, of Heaton, Newcastle, was handed a suspended sentence for threatening the chef of a cafe with his own kitchen knife.
Newcastle Crown Court heard Khurana entered Blossom’s Bistro in Byker on January 10, 2019, to confront Mr Khan after finding out he had “talked about him in a shop”.
Khurana punched Mr Khan before threatening him with the kitchen knife he had been using to cut vegetables.
When Jagtar Singh Dhillon, the cafe’s owner, went into the kitchen, he saw Khurana “with the knife pulled back as if to stab the chef”.
It was revealed that Khurana arrived in the UK from Afghanistan as an asylum seeker along with his wife and three children.
His barrister explained that he is “someone who wants to work but due to his current state isn’t able to do so”.
Khurana had borrowed money from Mr Dhillon.
Recorder Jamie Hill QC told him: “It came to your attention that Mr Dhillon had spoken to the cafe’s chef who had spoken to someone else about your financial position.
“So it was on January 10 you went to Blossom Cafe to have it out with them.”
Khurana entered the cafe through the back door at around 2:30 pm when Mr Khan was preparing vegetables. The defendant “accused him of asking about him in a nearby shop”.
Michael Bunch, prosecuting, explained: “Mr Khan put down the knife he had been using to prepare vegetables on a table and turned to address the defendant.
“He confirmed he had been speaking about the defendant to staff at a nearby shop the day before.
“At that point, the defendant punched him a number of times to his left shoulder and chest, grabbing hold of his shirt collar.
“In order to defend himself, Mr Khan took hold of the defendant and at that point, the defendant reached out and picked up the knife Mr Khan had previously been using.
“It was at that point that Mr Dhillon came through from the front of the premises into the food preparation area.
“He describes seeing the defendant with the knife pulled back as if to stab Mr Khan.”
“He took hold of the defendant’s arm to prevent him from using the knife, causing him to drop it.”
Khurana denied the offence but following a trial, he was found guilty of affray.
The court heard he maintained that “the other male was the aggressor and he picked the knife up to move it away”.
Penny Hall, defending Khurana, said: “He is remorseful of the fact he even went to the premises.
“He came to this country for safety and he would not abuse that help and purposely commit crime.”
Chronicle Live reported that Kuljeet Khurana received nine months in prison, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and 21 days of rehabilitation activity.