A man who made an unprovoked and violent attack on two men in a nightclub has been found guilty of grievous bodily harm and actual bodily harm.

Ali Mellal, 40, of Parade Mansions, Hendon Way, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for GBH and one year for ABH to be served concurrently for the attack in Hendon, which left one man with life-changing injuries.

On May 11 last year, two 21-year-old men were enjoying a night out with friends at a nightclub in Hendon.

When they left the club at approximately 2am they made their way up Watford Way and stopped to withdraw money from a cashpoint when Mellal stopped to offer them cocaine.

One of the victims declined the offer and swore at Mellal to go away.

But Mellal approached the victims again while they were in a convenience store, and again offered them cocaine. They said no and an argument ensued.

The men then left the store and walked on the opposite side of the road to get away from Mellal but he continued to follow them.

He caught up with the victims at the junction of Crespigny Road and Vivian Avenue and a fight broke out.

Mellal produced a weapon which he started swinging in a frenzied motion at both victims, causing injuries to their heads.

One of the victims was knocked unconscious. He regained consciousness and reached his home where, with the help of friends, he called the London Ambulance Service.

One of the victims sustained minor head injuries, but the second victim was rushed to St Mary’s Hospital in west London where he underwent major surgery on his skull and was placed in a drug-induced coma for 48 hours while specialist doctors assessed his injury.

The victim lost the use of his left arm and leg and suffered a minor stroke. Fortunately the victim made a significant recovery following a stay of several weeks in hospital.

Mellal was identified as the suspect after CCTV stills of him were circulated across other London boroughs.

During the trial, Mellal claimed that at the time of the assault he was with another man who Mellal only named as a fellow heroin user named Morad. Mellal tried to persuade the court that it was this unidentified male who assaulted the victim and that Mellal was an innocent bystander to this crime.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Andy Deamer of Barnet Serious Acquisitive Crime Unit said: “I am very pleased to see that Mellal will not be roaming the streets for a long time and I hope that this sentence will reassure Barnet’s residents that officers are working hard every day to catch and convict the most serious criminals.”