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Two jailed for 'despicable' attack on teenage boy

|News, Violent crime

Two men are now serving minimum sentences of 13 and 14 years in prison following a brutal attack on a teenager. Leon Rashid, 20 and Taiquane Lewis, 18, were found guilty in September of conspiracy to murder.

The attack took place in Lambeth on 23 February 2021. James Bascoe-Smith, who was 17 at the time, was riding his bike when the unprovoked attack took place.

Speaking outside the Old Bailey, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for London South, David Malone, spoke following the sentencing: “The first and last word in this case belongs to James Bascoe-Smith, his mum, Lisa, and their family whose heroism and dignity throughout contrasts starkly with the cowardice of those sentenced here today - gang members who have shown no remorse for their despicable actions.

“James’ determination has been the inspiration behind this painstaking investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service and the successful prosecution by the CPS and counsel. Our diligent cooperation in dealing with this brutal act of gang violence has ensured that justice has been delivered. 

“James was a 17-year-old boy doing no more than innocently test-driving a bicycle for his mum when he was attacked with machetes and zombie knives by masked gang members, effectively dying at the scene. It is testament to the skill, perseverance and empathy of the members of the public, first responders and air ambulance staff that he is here with us today. The courage shown by those members of the public who risked their own safety to assist James, in what might have been his final moments, is remarkable.

“Our communities are at the heart of everything we do and without their support we could not possibly bring such dangerous criminals to justice.”

Notes to editors

  • CPS Prosecution team: David Malone (Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for London South), Claire Holder (Senior Crown Prosecutor), Rob Brill (Paralegal Officer) and Jen Siddorn (District Crown Prosecutor)
  • Leon Alan Rashid, DOB 17/5/2002: Life sentence with minimum term of 14 years
  • Taiquane Lewis, DOB 24/8/2003: Custody for Life with minimum term 13 years detention (as youth at the time)

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