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Teenager who stabbed gang rival is ‘in denial’ about violent crime

PUBLISHED: 12:43 14 October 2015 | UPDATED: 12:43 14 October 2015

Stratford station, Photo PA/ John Stillwell

Stratford station, Photo PA/ John Stillwell

PA/Press Association Images

A teenager who knifed a rival Hackney gang member with a large kitchen knife has been told by top judges he cannot complain about his punishment.

The 16-year-old, from Forest Gate, who cannot be identified because of his age, stabbed the victim at Stratford station on September 9 last year.

The victim was fortunate to escape with superficial cuts following the attack.

The teenager was found guilty of attempted wounding with intent and having an offensive weapon and was handed four-and-a-half years of youth detention, with an extended licence period of two years.

His lawyers argued the sentence was too severe at London’s Criminal Appeal Court on Friday.

They pointed to his youth and argued he was likely to change while behind bars.

But his complaints were thrown out by three of the country’s most senior judges, who said he was a danger to the public.

They said he was “in denial” about the serious and violent nature of his crime.

The court heard the boy, who was just 15 at the time of the stabbing, was carrying the knife when he spotted the victim and ran towards him, thrusting the knife – aiming at his victim’s head and upper body.

The victim was wounded but eventually managed to get the upper hand and chased his attacker through the station. The pair were stopped by police before any further violence could take place.

His lawyers argued that, because of his young age and the fact he is getting help to change in custody, the sentence was over the top.

But Mr Justice King told the court the attack was “rooted in gang rivalry”, with both the boy and his victim belonging to rival gangs in Hackney and both being known to police.

He added: “This was an offence in public, in the presence of a large number of ordinary people going about their business and was all in the context of gang warfare.

“He persisted in fighting this case at trial and has not accepted, in any way, the underlying factors which gave rise to the assessment that he currently poses a significant risk of harm. This was a case in which he had gone out with a knife capable of inflicting very serious, if not lethal, injuries.”


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