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Friday, 14 December, 2001, 15:20 GMT
Attack student tries to rebuild life
Sarfraz Najeib
Sarfraz Najeib moved from Leeds university
Student Sarfraz Najeib is struggling to rebuild his life almost two years after he was attacked in Leeds city centre.

The 21-year-old still bears some of the physical scars of the attack as well as suffering psychologically.

In court he told how he feared for his life during the incident in January last year.

Now fear of repeat attacks has forced him to restart his studies at a new university away from Leeds.

Upside down

"I am always paranoid when I go out. I don't have much of a social life," he said.

"When I go to university I always come straight back home."

His life was turned upside down when he, his brother and three friends were chased outside the Majestyk nightclub.

The former Leeds Metropolitan University student, then aged 19, told in court how he was knocked to the floor from behind by one of the group.

He said he got up quickly to see the man coming towards him again "with his fists clenched".

Mr Najeib hit the man above the eye, before fleeing with his brother and their friends towards Mill Hill where they had parked their car.


I used to be more outgoing but I am more irritable now - I prefer my own company

Sarfraz Najeib

"I thought they wanted to beat me up so I was running away from them," he said.

"I was running for my life. I was really frightened, really scared," he said in court.

The student told the court somebody then tripped him up from behind.

He said he thought he hit his head on the wall and fell unconscious.

Mr Najeib's spent seven days in Leeds Infirmary with injuries including a fractured leg, broken nose, fractured cheekbone and a bite mark to his right cheek.

Cuts to his eyebrow had to be glued together and a head wound needed 12 stitches.

Almost two years later Mr Najeib has become something of a recluse, preferring to spend time in his bedroom alone.


Even when they had finished kicking and hitting him, they came back and stamped on him, breaking his leg

Muhammad Najeib

"I used to be more outgoing but I am more irritable now. I prefer my own company."

It is a stark contrast to the day some months before when his parents, Muhammad and Zubaida, were overjoyed when he earned a place on an Information Technology course at Leeds Metropolitan University in September 1999.

It meant he would be close to the family home in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

Following the attack Sarfraz continued to suffer from post-concussional syndrome, with sleeplessness and headaches.

His leg was in plaster for six weeks, and a year after the attack he underwent surgery for the removal of a piece of nasal bone to allow him to breathe properly.

"Even when they had finished kicking and hitting him, they came back and stamped on him, breaking his leg. They were animals," said Mr Najeib's father.


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