A Bristol man has been bailed after appearing in court charged with stabbing an alleged teenage gang member in Easton.
Rahim Lohia, 20, of Barrow Hill Crescent, Shirehampton, pleaded not guilty to wounding/causing grievous bodily harm in Bristol Magistrates’ Court today (July 29).
A 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found with non-life threatening injuries on Stapleton Road on Thursday (July 25).
Judge DJ Matthews granted Lohia bail with several conditions – including that he must not enter Bristol.
She said: “I’m gravely concerned for your safety. The prosecution tells me there’s gang involvement here and there are high tensions and there’s a fear of retaliation or retribution.”
For the prosecution, May Li argued Lohia lunged at the complainant “five or six times” with a knife after the teenager refused to provide him with cannabis. She said the teenager was “involved in a gang”.
Nicola Hutchinson, defending, told the court Lohia, who does not drive, was given a lift to get some drugs by his girlfriend – and he did not bring a weapon with him.
Ms Hutchinson said a man came out of a property twice and it was Lohia’s position that a knife was brought out the second time.
Ms Hutchinson said her client smoked cannabis but she “did not think for a second” that he was in a gang, adding that his family were respectable and he had co-operated with police after arrest.
“The officers have said how pleasant he has been to deal with in these three days,” said Ms Hutchinson.
She said Lohia sat BTECs in Filton at the “engineering college” and had worked in various places since the age of 14, including curry houses, Domino’s Pizza and a construction company.
The judge granted Lohia bail before his first Bristol Crown Court hearing scheduled for August 27 at 9.45 am.
Addressing Lohia, the judge said: “If your account is correct, then the complainant came to the scene somewhat armed with a knife. It will be for a jury to decide that – not for me.”