AN “EMBITTERED” father-of-three has been sentenced to eight years after attacking his wife’s lover on Valentine’s Day.

Ahmad Hamshou, of Acre Court, Andover, attacked Yeyra Sharaf with a kitchen knife, in an attack described as “a shocking outburst of serious violence” by Judge Keith Cutler.

Sentencing, Cutler told the 51-year-old that “you were not drugged or drunk, you wanted revenge. You saw him as someone who had ruined your life, and wanted to ruin his.”

Hamshou was sentenced at Winchester crown court today (Friday) having previously pleaded guilty to charges of wounding with intent and being in possession of a knife in public.

Further charges of attempted murder and making a threat to kill were dismissed.

The court heard that Hamshou and his wife, Nisrine Sawtel, had arrived in the UK from Syria in 2018 having previously sought refuge in Lebanon.

Shortly after their arrival, though, Ms Sawtel “realised she no longer wanted to be with him,” according to the prosecution.

She began living in her own flat in the same building as her husband – with whom the couple’s children continued living – when she struck up a friendship with Mr Sharaf, 29.

Mr Sharaf denied that the pair were in a relationship, but Ms Sawtel later indicated that he had asked her to marry him once her divorce was finalised.

“Plainly there was something more than just a friendship there,” said Rob Welling, prosecuting.

The court heard that Hamshou had made a threat to harm Mr Sharaf in November 2019, an incident that was reported to the police.

Then on February 14, this year, he saw his wife and Mr Sharaf shopping and having a coffee together in Andover town centre.

“Ms Sawtel described him as smiling and shaking his head, and she was anxious as to what may happen,” said Mr Welling.

Later that day, just after 1pm, Hamshou went to Mr Sharaf's house where he used the 22cm-long blade to attack his victim, leaving him with “life-threatening” injuries.

Neighbours heard “screaming” and the sound of fighting from next door, with passers-by detaining Hamshou until police arrived.

Several police cars and the air ambulance responded to the attack, with Beale’s Close subsequently cordoned off for a number of hours.

The court heard that Hamshou had shown “genuine remorse” for his actions and that he had been suffering from depression at the time of the incident.

“He accepts that his emotions got the better of him and he acted in anger,” said Mr Bloomer, mitigating, who also highlighted the difficult situation Hamshou had found himself in.

“As a refugee, having gone through terrible things at home, coming to this country and doing his best to assimilate and finding himself in the situation where he was the sole carer of his children - it doesn’t excuse the conduct but it does begin to explain it.”

In a statement read out in court, Hamshou said: “I have harmed another human being. I swear I was praying for him to get better. I hope to see him again and say sorry. I hope he will forgive me and that God will forgive me.”

He also expressed remorse over the impact his actions have had on his relationship with his children.

“How will I answer my children when they ask me why I am in prison?” He said in a subsequent statement.

“I miss them greatly but I am afraid to meet them to avoid giving them an answer to this gruelling question – especially since I have always taught them to be tolerant and avoid hurting others.

“I feel they will accuse me of lying and that I have done exactly the contrary to what I have been preaching to them.”

Evidence from character witnesses for Hamshou noted that his actions “didn’t seem in keeping” with his normal behaviour.

Judge Cutler acknowledged these character witnesses, telling Hamshou that the attack “surprised them almost as much as you surprised yourself.”

However, the judge noted that while he accepted that he did not intend to kill Mr Sharaf, he “may have intended more harm than [Sharaf] actually received.”

He added: "The background to all of this may have been a failed marriage. It certainly includes you being jealous and embittered towards the victim, Mr Sharaf.

“This act was a shocking outburst of serious violence in a public place.”

Hamshou was sentenced to eight years for wounding with intent, and two years to the possession of a knife in a public place, with the sentences to be served concurrently.