A drug addict slashed a Tesco security guard in the head as they tussled over stolen confectionary.

Mohamed Gewid, 33, has now been jailed for three-and-a-half years for what a judge at Oxford Crown Court called a ‘terrible’ attack.

But he exercised a degree of ‘mercy’, he told the defendant, after learning of the difficulties that had led the Egyptian national to seek asylum in the UK, the tragic death of his son and his battles with drug addiction.

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Earlier this year, a jury heard how Gewid went into the Tesco on the Oxford Road, Reading, on the evening of October 30 last year.

He was challenged by staff members, who told him to leave the goods he was shoplifting and to leave the store.

CCTV captured a scuffle between Gewid and his victim, a security guard, and showed the movement he made towards the officer’s forehead.

Although it was unclear what caused the slash to his head, a doctor described the wound as having been caused by ‘sharp force trauma’.

It required surgery, with the victim saying he had been caused nerve damage, suffered headaches and had been left with an ‘embarrassing scar’ that he tried to hide from his children.

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Gewid, of no fixed address, accepted stealing from the shop but had denied causing his victim grievous bodily harm with intent or possession of a weapon. Jurors convicted him of the latter two charges in March.

Jailing him on Monday (May 15), Recorder John Bate-Williams told the defendant: “It’s important for you to understand this is a particularly serious criminal offence.”

John Simmons, mitigating, described his client as being from a ‘very good background, not scared to stand up and say when things are wrong’, who had seen people ‘slaughtered’ during the 2011 ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings in Egypt. His son had died in 2019.

He came to the UK legitimately then sought asylum. His passport was taken from him and, as a result of the asylum rules, he was unable to work. He fell into drug addiction and had spent stints in rehab facilities in London and Swindon.

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When he committed the offence last October, he was said to have relapsed into using crack cocaine and heroin.

The court heard Gewid was remorseful for his actions, but continued to dispute that he used a weapon to cause the injury.

It was suggested that he had struggled while in prison, had repeatedly been placed in solitary confinement and was ‘missing teeth’. The matters had been reported to the police and his solicitors, the court heard.