‘Smirking’ knifeman was ‘so cold’ after stabbing woman in the throat – witness

A Birmingham knifeman repeatedly stabbed a woman in the throat before "smirking" at bar staff who bravely tried to follow him, an eyewitness said.

The attacker was "cold" and "calm" as he left the scene, walking along the street, said Savvas Sfrantzis, a restaurant owner.

When one heroic bar manager told the killer "I recognise your face", the knife-wielding male replied "whatever", Mr Sfrantzis added.

The 64-year-old, a veteran of the city's licensed trade, said it was about 1.55am, when he turned as a woman behind him screamed from across the other side of Hurst Street.

Mr Sfrantzis said: "I heard the scream, so I looked around looked opposite and I could see where the screaming was coming from."

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Police forensics officers gather evidence inside a cordon on Hurst Street, following a major stabbing incident in the centre of Birmingham, central England, on September 6, 2020. - One man was killed and two people were critically injured during a "random" stabbing attack lasting several hours in Britain's second city of Birmingham, police said on Sunday. Detectives said they were hunting one suspect after being called to reports of stabbings at four separate locations in the city centre between 12:30 am (2330 GMT Saturday) and 2:30 am. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Police forensics officers gather evidence on Hurst Walk, inside a cordon at Hurst Street, following a major stabbing incident in the centre of Birmingham, central England, on September 6, 2020. - One man was killed and two people were critically injured during a "random" stabbing attack lasting several hours in Britain's second city of Birmingham, police said on Sunday. Detectives said they were hunting one suspect after being called to reports of stabbings at four separate locations in the city centre between 12:30 am (2330 GMT Saturday) and 2:30 am. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
A police forensics officer gathers evidence near to forensics tents and evidence markers inside a cordon on Irving Street, following a major stabbing incident in the centre of Birmingham, central England, on September 6, 2020. - British police declared a "major incident" early on September 6 after multiple people were stabbed in the centre of England's second city Birmingham. Violence broke out at about 12:30 am (2330 GMT Saturday) in and around the Arcadian Centre, a popular venue filled with restaurants, nightclubs and bars. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
A police forensic officer taking photographs in Hurst Street, in Birmingham after a number of people were stabbed in the city centre. West Midlands Police said they were called to reports of a stabbing at around 12.30am on Sunday and a number of other stabbings were reported in the area at around the same time.
RETRANSMISSION CORRECTING HURST STREET TO HURST WALK Three police forensics officers at making way down Hurst Walk in Birmingham after a number of people were stabbed in the city centre. Police are searching for one suspect following the stabbings in the city centre in which one man was killed and seven other people injured.
A police forensics officer in overalls (right), alongside a colleague, in Irving Street in Birmingham after a number of people were stabbed in the city centre. West Midlands Police said they were called to reports of a stabbing at around 12.30am on Sunday and a number of other stabbings were reported in the area at around the same time.
A police forensics officer gathers evidence near to forensics tents and evidence markers inside a cordon on Irving Street, following a major stabbing incident in the centre of Birmingham, central England, on September 6, 2020. - British police declared a "major incident" early on September 6 after multiple people were stabbed in the centre of England's second city Birmingham. Violence broke out at about 12:30 am (2330 GMT Saturday) in and around the Arcadian Centre, a popular venue filled with restaurants, nightclubs and bars. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Police forensics officers gather evidence near to forensics tents and evidence markers inside a cordon on Irving Street, following a major stabbing incident in the centre of Birmingham, central England, on September 6, 2020. - British police declared a "major incident" early on September 6 after multiple people were stabbed in the centre of England's second city Birmingham. Violence broke out at about 12:30 am (2330 GMT Saturday) in and around the Arcadian Centre, a popular venue filled with restaurants, nightclubs and bars. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Police guard a cordon on Livery Street following a major stabbing incident in the centre of Birmingham, central England, on September 6, 2020. - British police declared a "major incident" early on September 6 after multiple people were stabbed in the centre of England's second city Birmingham. Violence broke out at about 12:30 am (2330 GMT Saturday) in and around the Arcadian Centre, a popular venue filled with restaurants, nightclubs and bars. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Police gather evidence near to forensics tents and evidence markers inside a cordon on Irving Street, following a major stabbing incident in the centre of Birmingham, central England, on September 6, 2020. - British police declared a "major incident" early on September 6 after multiple people were stabbed in the centre of England's second city Birmingham. Violence broke out at about 12:30 am (2330 GMT Saturday) in and around the Arcadian Centre, a popular venue filled with restaurants, nightclubs and bars. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
A small forensics tent is seen at the junction of Church Street and Barwick Street, following a major stabbing incident in the centre of Birmingham, central England, on September 6, 2020. - British police declared a "major incident" early on September 6 after multiple people were stabbed in the centre of England's second city Birmingham. Violence broke out at about 12:30 am (2330 GMT Saturday) in and around the Arcadian Centre, a popular venue filled with restaurants, nightclubs and bars. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Police guard a cordon on Edmund Street following a major stabbing incident in the centre of Birmingham, central England, on September 6, 2020. - British police declared a "major incident" early on September 6 after multiple people were stabbed in the centre of England's second city Birmingham. Violence broke out at about 12:30 am (2330 GMT Saturday) in and around the Arcadian Centre, a popular venue filled with restaurants, nightclubs and bars. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Police guard a cordon on Livery Street following a major stabbing incident in the centre of Birmingham, central England, on September 6, 2020. - British police declared a "major incident" early on September 6 after multiple people were stabbed in the centre of England's second city Birmingham. Violence broke out at about 12:30 am (2330 GMT Saturday) in and around the Arcadian Centre, a popular venue filled with restaurants, nightclubs and bars. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
A police officer stands near to a small forensics tent as he mans a cordon at the junction of Church Street and Barwick Street, following a major stabbing incident in the centre of Birmingham, central England, on September 6, 2020. - British police declared a "major incident" early on September 6 after multiple people were stabbed in the centre of England's second city Birmingham. Violence broke out at about 12:30 am (2330 GMT Saturday) in and around the Arcadian Centre, a popular venue filled with restaurants, nightclubs and bars. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Police guard a cordon on Livery Street following a major stabbing incident in the centre of Birmingham, central England, on September 6, 2020. - British police declared a "major incident" early on September 6 after multiple people were stabbed in the centre of England's second city Birmingham. Violence broke out at about 12:30 am (2330 GMT Saturday) in and around the Arcadian Centre, a popular venue filled with restaurants, nightclubs and bars. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A police officer stands near to a small forensics tent as he mans a cordon at the junction of Church Street and Barwick Street, following a major stabbing incident in the centre of Birmingham, central England, on September 6, 2020. - British police declared a "major incident" early on September 6 after multiple people were stabbed in the centre of England's second city Birmingham. Violence broke out at about 12:30 am (2330 GMT Saturday) in and around the Arcadian Centre, a popular venue filled with restaurants, nightclubs and bars. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
A police forensics officer holding a sealed container with a black handled knife inside, in Edmund Street in Birmingham after a number of people were stabbed in the city centre. West Midlands Police said they were called to reports of a stabbing at around 12.30am on Sunday and a number of other stabbings were reported in the area at around the same time.
A police forensic officer looks under a small blue police tent covering an area of road in Irving Street in Birmingham after a number of people were stabbed in the city centre. West Midlands Police said they were called to reports of a stabbing at around 12.30am on Sunday and a number of other stabbings were reported in the area at around the same time.
A police forensics officer taking photographs in Irving Street in Birmingham after a number of people were stabbed in the city centre. West Midlands Police said they were called to reports of a stabbing at around 12.30am on Sunday and a number of other stabbings were reported in the area at around the same time.
Police officers at a cordon in Hurst Street in Birmingham after a number of people were stabbed in the city centre. West Midlands Police said they were called to reports of a stabbing at around 12.30am on Sunday and a number of other stabbings were reported in the area at around the same time.
Two police forensics officers in Livery Street in Birmingham after a number of people were stabbed in the city centre. West Midlands Police said they were called to reports of a stabbing at around 12.30am on Sunday and a number of other stabbings were reported in the area at around the same time.
Forensics officers walk past a police officer directing a member of the public, inside the cordoned area in Barwick Street in Birmingham after a number of people were stabbed in the city centre. West Midlands Police said they were called to reports of a stabbing at around 12.30am on Sunday and a number of other stabbings were reported in the area at around the same time.
A police officer at a cordon in Hurst Street in Birmingham after a number of people were stabbed in the city centre. West Midlands Police said they were called to reports of a stabbing at around 12.30am on Sunday and a number of other stabbings were reported in the area at around the same time.
A discarded blanket at the scene in Hurst Street, Birmingham, after a number of people were stabbed in the city centre. West Midlands Police said they were called to reports of a stabbing at around 12.30am on Sunday and a number of other stabbings were reported in the area at around the same time.
Two police forensics officers at the cordoned area in Barwick Street in Birmingham after a number of people were stabbed in the city centre. West Midlands Police said they were called to reports of a stabbing at around 12.30am on Sunday and a number of other stabbings were reported in the area at around the same time.
Police officers at a cordon in Hurst Street in Birmingham after a number of people were stabbed in the city centre. West Midlands Police said they were called to reports of a stabbing at around 12.30am on Sunday and a number of other stabbings were reported in the area at around the same time.
A police forensics officer looks under a small blue police tent covering an area of pavement in Livery Street in Birmingham after a number of people were stabbed in the city centre. West Midlands Police said they were called to reports of a stabbing at around 12.30am on Sunday and a number of other stabbings were reported in the area at around the same time.
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He said there was a girl with her back against some shutters, and a man very close to her.

"So I am thinking, 'either they are fighting and he's the boyfriend or he's trying to rob her'.

"She screamed a lot and very loudly.

"I looked at him, facing him, and I can see he had a blade, small, not very big, and he was stabbing her in the neck.

"It happened very quickly and then you know the girl is after a few minutes going down (to the ground) and I can see the attacker."

Mr Sfrantzis added: "He started walking – not even running or trying to hide, as if nothing happened.

"I never heard him saying anything except when she started screaming, and the manager from Sidewalk (nightclub) – he said to the attacker 'you stabbed the girl'.

"The guy walks down the road, smirking and just walking, slow."

He said the manager of Sidewalk and another man tried to chase the attacker.

"He started walking faster, they kept their distance because he had a knife.

"So he walked straight down, goes past Hurst Street and the Gay Village.

"The manager from Sidewalk came back and said 'we chased him behind Eden (another nightclub) and I lost him'."

Mr Sfrantzis, who owns and runs Santorinis and Mykonos bar and grill, then said the man returned and was once again bravely confronted by the manager at Sidewalk.

"The manager said to this guy, 'I recognise your face, I know what you look like' and the attacker said 'whatever'," added Mr Sfrantzis.

Savvais Sfrantzis
Bar and grill owner Savvas Sfrantzis (PA)

The 64-year-old said: "I saw another guy wrapped up, in a wheelchair, had blood all over him, he was badly stabbed but he was still speaking, screaming."

"He was shouting, they f****** stabbed me," he added.

Mr Sfrantzis also told how the girl was stabbed between five and seven times.

He described how police arrived "almost immediately", and handed over his bar's CCTV to detectives in a bid to aid the manhunt.

Mr Sfrantzis, who had not slept since the incident, said: "It is very shocking and it's shame, because the guy, as far as I know, hasn't been caught yet.

"But he wasn't trying to run away or to sprint, when you stabbed somebody you think you try to hide and run.

"He was just smirking.

"I've had restaurants for 30 years, and I have never seen anything like it, I've seen fights, I've seen arguments.

"But, so cold, you know?

"The guy was out of this world, he didn't give a toss what happened.

"Just smirking and laughing."

Mr Sfrantzis, fearing a terrorist attack, immediately ordered the doors to his restaurant locked, with his Mykonos staff and about 30 customers still inside.

He also remembered shouting after the man "he stabbed a girl", trying to warn others.

He added: "It was horrible, horrific.

"I have never seen anything like that, it was very cold.

"It happened so quickly, there was people going up and down the road, it was 2am, you know, probably thinking 'girls do scream sometimes'.

"But nobody realised, only me and the other bar manager."

Another man, who declined to be named, said a friend had told him how a neighbour in Barwick Street, across the city, had been among those stabbed as he smoked a cigarette.

The doorman said: "He lives in the apartments down there but he's a smoker, so he went outside to smoke, and the guy just stabbed him.

"My friend had to use towels to help stem the blood."

Police have already linked the attacks in Hurst Street, with a fatal stabbing in Irving Street, and two incidents in Barwick Street and Livery Street, near Colmore Row.

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