A DRUG dealer who stabbed a user and his girlfriend following a row over a £30 debt has been jailed for seven years.

Mahad Hassan left the woman, who wasn’t even involved in the disagreement, seriously ill after the blade perforated her colon.

The 23-year-old Somali ‘enforcer’ had come to Swindon from London to make money peddling drugs when he launched the attack last year.

Although he denied all the charges he was found guilty following a trial and now accepted what he had done, Swindon Crown Court heard.

Customer Christopher White, 30 had been involved in a disagreement over a deal and was arguing about it with two of Hassan’s runners on September 5.

They delayed him while the defendant rushed to the Transfer Bridges area shortly before 8.30pm where he stepped in to settle the dispute with Mr White.

After stabbing him twice, leaving the victim with a collapsed lung, he went to run away but stopped to stab Nina Austin, 39, who was a bystander.

As a result of the wound she had to undergo surgery and was kept in hospital for about a week.

In a victim personal statement Miss Austin told how she was left with a large scar which acted as a daily reminder of what happened to her.

She said that she felt the wanted to ‘stamp his ground’ by stabbing her, pointing out she was standing with her arms outstretched when he attacked her.

At trial she told the jury ‘He literally stopped and stabbed me as he passed me. What upset me is I posed no threat.

‘I don’t know why he stabbed me, he had no need to stab me. It was like it was in slow motion. It was over a £30 drug debt.’

Hannah Squire, prosecuting, said: “Mr Hassan can be referred to as not just the drug dealer but an enforcer”.

Tom Copeland, defending, said he now accepted his guilty and was sorry for what he had done.

He said he had no previous convictions and comes from a hard working family who came to the UK from Somalia as refugees.

Though now working as a cabbie he said his father had held down jobs at the BBC and Border Agency in the past and his siblings were at school or university.

Jailing him Judge Robert Pawson said: “You may not appreciate the damage that heroin and crack cocaine do to families because women who are addicted to those substances don’t look after their children properly.

“There are mitigating factors: you have now, late in the day, accepted your guilt. You have expressed remorse which I take to be genuine and you have talked of the same you feel you have brought on your religion and your family.”

James Scanlon, 36, of Cloche Way, Upper Stratton, admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine and was put on a community order.