Teenager guilty of nightclub stabbing spree
A teenager who stabbed four people in a fight outside a nightclub has today been convicted of murder.
Vasilios Ofogeli, 17, had deliberately armed himself with a large knife before running towards the victims with his face concealed.
Violence had broken out in the early hours of 25 August last year following the appearance of grime artist MoStack at the Gallery nightclub in Maidstone, Kent.
Andre Bent, who went to protect someone being attacked, was stabbed in the left side of his chest and arm. The 21-year-old student died shortly afterwards, while three others were seriously injured.
Ofogeli was convicted following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court, during which he claimed he had acted in self-defence.
However, this was rejected by the jury after CCTV showed Ofogeli running towards the melee with a jumper wrapped over his head to conceal his face.
He was also convicted of two counts of attempted murder and one of wounding with intent. Two other men, who had previously admitted violent disorder, were cleared of any involvement in the stabbings.
Libby Clark, from the CPS, said: “This was an exceptionally fast-moving outbreak of serious violence, which in the space of a few minutes, cost one man has life and left a number of others injured.
“Events on the night were confused because of the speed at which they happened, with four people stabbed by Vasilios Ofogeli in just over the space of a minute.
“Our prosecution was possible because Kent Police were able to work meticulously through large amounts of CCTV and footage recorded on mobile phones to establish what had happened and bring charges against those responsible for this appalling chain of events.
“Despite Ofogeli's claims of reasonable self-defence, we were able to prove to the jury that no such thing had happened on the night. The truth was that the killer had got out a knife and tried to disguise himself, before attacking a number of people.
“Sadly this case shows that knife crime and its appalling consequences are not confined to large cities and vividly highlights the impact that carrying knives can have on people’s lives.”
Notes to editors
- Vasilios Ofogeli [20/11/2002] was found guilty of one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, one count of wounding with intent and admitted one charge of violent disorder
- Ryan Lowe-White [02/04/1998] and Ali Aziz [02/12/1995] were both found not guilty of one charge of wounding with intent. Both had previously pleaded guilty to violent disorder
- Yusuf Abdi Aweys [01/01/2000], Nathaniel Small [27/08/1997], Darien Thompson-Cox [16/05/1998], Rheo Lawrence [01/11/1990], Mohamed Gelani [06/12/1995], Kaline Riley [23/05/1996], Jerral Johnson-Lowe [25/04/1993] had previously pleaded guilty to violent disorder
- Libby Clark is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the CPS South East Complex Casework Unit
- This case was prosecuted by the CPS South East Complex Casework Unit (CCU). It deals with the most complex cases in the South East and handles one of the largest volumes of complex cases in the country. Their work includes dealing with human trafficking, cross border crimes, “cold case” murders, fatal road collisions, sudden infant death, substantial fraud, money laundering and major public disorder offences.