49 year old Sher Wali pleaded guilty to two counts of Section 18 grievous bodily harm with intent at an earlier hearing in February.

The attack took place near the reception area of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Portsmouth Road at around 2pm on Sunday, the 9th of July last year.

The hotel was being used as an Afghan Citizen Resettlement Centre at the time.

Four men were in a small sitting area next to the reception area when Wali came up to them holding a black plastic bag which he said contained a mobile phone.

He said he had come to ask one of the men to look at the phone before reaching into the bag and grabbing a meat cleaver which he used to attack two of the men.

He was found by officers in his room shortly afterwards and arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

During his interview, Wali claimed he and his family had been subject to harassment and torment from the victims and other guests. He said he hadn’t intended to kill the two victims and had just wanted to scare them.

Further enquiries revealed that he had bought the meat cleaver two or three days before the attack, which Wali denied had been pre-planned.

Wali will have to serve at least eight years of his 12-year custodial sentence.

If he can satisfy a parole board he is fit to be released after this time, he will then serve the remainder of his sentence on licence, in addition to a further four-year extended licence.

This could mean he serves up to eight years on licence and, if he breaches the conditions of his release during this time, will be required to serve the remainder of this term in prison.

A lifetime restraining order is also in place for both victims against the defendant.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Jon Brushneen, said: “This was a terrifying incident which took place in the middle of the day in a busy area and witnessed by many people.

“Wali’s internet search history, uncovered during this investigation, revealed that the attack was pre-meditated, and this was taken into consideration during sentencing.

“Both of Wali’s victims were left seriously injured as a result of this attack, and I hope the fact that he has received a custodial sentence will help to provide them with some closure and allow them to start moving on with their lives.”