An Afghan migrant asked people if they were English before attacking them with a 10-inch knife, a court has heard.
CCTV footage shows 32-year-old Samiulahaq Akbari tapping Nicholas Speigh on the shoulder after he entered a branch of Tesco in south London on January 8.
A court at the Old Bailey heard that Akbari asked Speigh’s nationality before lunging at him with the knife.
Prosecutor Heidi Stonecliffe said it was only “by luck” that Speigh managed to escape the encounter unscathed.
Akbari’s motive was to “kill members of the public” if they were English, with the asylum seeker’s own cousin warning police, “He wants to kill the English people. I can see his eyes, he’s serious. He will do it. He’s trying to run and he will kill someone.”
Following the attempted attack in Tesco, Akbari tried to stab two other men after first asking their nationality, one at a nearby Kebabish restaurant and the other at the Plough on the Pond pub in Croydon.
Both of those victims also escaped unharmed.