Gang member jailed after minimart stabbing


A teenage gang member has been jailed for 14 years after a 16-year-old boy was repeatedly stabbed in a frenzied attack with 'rambo-style' knives inside a minimart shop in Stoke Newington.

The youth, 16, from Camden, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced today [Monday, 6 November] at the Central Criminal Court. He was convicted of attempted murder, wounding with intent, affray and having an offensive weapon in a public place. He had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges but was found guilty following a 10-day trial in September. A co-defendant, another youth, was acquitted.

The young victim was pursued by a group of up to six masked youths on bicycles armed with what witnesses described as 'rambo-style' knives. He had been forced to abandon his moped and flee into the R K Mini Market shop in Matthias Road, Stoke Newington, where he was ambushed just before midnight on 17 March this year.

The youngster was stabbed as he hid behind the shop's sales counter. He was left with a punctured lung and lacerations to his liver as well as stab wounds to his thigh and shoulder, following the pre-planned and unprovoked attack. His life was saved because of the quick actions of staff and a customer at the shop, as well as the prompt response of the emergency services.

The attack stemmed from a gang feud between the Essex Road gang, which the defendant belonged to, and a rival gang, the Red Pitch gang, which the victim's brother belonged to. 

As part of enquiries into the attack, police executed search warrants at the homes of several suspects. At the defendant's home police discovered a large hunting knife under his bed-quilt. The sheath it was hidden in was found to have the victim's blood and DNA on it. Police also unearthed a video uploaded to YouTube featuring members of the Essex Road gang in which similar knives were being brandished and references made to "dropping" rival gang members.

London Crown Prosecution Service reviewing lawyer, Claire Holder, said:

"This was a vicious attack involving large knives and the clear intention to take the life of another human being. Although the defendant denied his involvement, it was the strong scientific evidence that we presented in court, showing the victim's blood on a knife found inside the defendant's own home, which sealed his fate. 

"A dangerous gang member will now spend a significant amount of time in prison where he will no longer be a risk to the public.

"Gang violence is unacceptable and we will not hesitate to prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes."

Notes to editors:

1. Claire Holder is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS London South.