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Dalston youth's Oxford Street stabbing sentence cut

PUBLISHED: 15:58 25 October 2012

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A schoolboy who repeatedly stabbed a teenager in front of horrified onlookers on London's busiest shopping street has had his sentence reduced on appeal.

Travis Edmund Latouche, of Queensbridge Road, Dalston, was just 15 when he knifed his 18-year-old victim in a gang-related attack on Oxford Street in August last year.

Latouche, now 17, was sentenced to eight years at Southwark Crown Court in March, after he admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

But his sentence was cut to seven years by judges sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, who said the original term was “too long”.

The judges refused to ban the press from identifying Latouche – who will serve half his new sentence before qualifying for automatic release – allowing the case to be reported for the first time.

The court heard the victim was outside the H&M store on Oxford Street with his girlfriend on August 17 last year when the attack took place.

Latouche lunged at his victim, stabbing him six times and leaving him with a number of serious wounds and a collapsed lung.

The judge said that, were it not for the skilled intervention of a passing nurse and a member of the armed forces, the victim might have died. Latouche also suffered injuries and the court heard eyewitnesses claimed to have seen a knife in the victim’s hand, although he denied this.

Lord Justice Aikens said the victim was a member of the notorious London Fields gang and he refused to co-operate with the police investigation.

Lawyers for the Crown believed Latouche was a member of a rival gang – the Fellows Court Boys.

He claimed the attack on the 18-year-old was a ‘‘pre-emptive strike’’, saying he believed the victim had a knife and was going to stab him.

Allowing the appeal, Lord Justice Aikens added: “There was little or no regard taken of the countless families and children who would have been in the area and witnessed the incident, causing considerable fear and distress.”

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