A MAN who stabbed a doctor in the neck on the steps of a Hale mosque has been sentenced.

Ian Anthony Rooke, 29, charged at Dr Nasser Kurdy as the doctor approached the Altrincham Islamic Centre on Grove Lane on Sunday, September 24 last year.

Shortly before 5.50pm, Rooke ran up behind his victim and, without provocation, stabbed him in the neck with a kitchen knife.

Dr Kurdy, a consultant at Wythenshawe Hospital, managed to escape by running into the mosque before Rooke could stab him again.

Rooke fled the scene with the knife, which he had taken from his brother's house following an argument.

Dr Kurdy was rushed to A&E where no life threatening injuries were identified and he was able to be discharged from hospital later that evening.

Rooke, of no fixed abode, was jailed on Tuesday, August 28 for five years and four months at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court after pleading guilty to wounding with intent and possession of a weapon.

The court heard that Rooke was on Grove Lane after storming out of his brother’s house following a fight between the pair.

Following the fight with his brother, Rooke found himself looking for someone to take his anger out on.

Police arrested Rooke shortly afterwards at his brother’s house.

Detective Inspector Chris Potter from GMP’s City of Manchester Division, said: “This was an extremely horrific and unprovoked attack on a man who was just going about his daily business.

“Rooke ran up behind Dr Kurdy and stabbed him in the neck. It is a miracle that Dr Kurdy’s injuries weren’t more serious, he could have easily been left with life-changing injuries or could have even lost his life.

“The attack quite rightly left the Muslim community in fear and many questions were asked about Rooke’s motive.

“It has since been established that whilst the attack on Dr Kurdy was appalling and completely unprovoked, there was no hate element to the attack.

"Rooke was willing to take his anger out on the next person who caught his eye. Unfortunately for Dr Kurdy, it was him.

“I would like commend Dr Kurdy for his bravery and strength since the attack. He has shown incredible empathy towards Rooke that many may think is undeserved, and I take my hat off to him.

"He is a pillar of the community and has played a huge part reassuring those in fear.

“Rooke isn’t a racially motivated attacker, but he is an attacker none-the-less. He could have killed Dr Kurdy and will now spend the next five years and four months in prison thinking about what he has done.”