A 15-year-old boy who stabbed another teenager in the stomach with a 10-inch knife has been found guilty of grievous bodily harm, possession of a bladed article and actual bodily harm.
The offender, who was 14 at the time of the incident and cannot be named due to his age, went to Verulamium Park in St Albans on the afternoon of June 15 with his friends where they encountered a large group of boys and girls who were celebrating the end of their GCSE exams.
He singled out one of the boys – a 16-year-old from London Colney – and started shouting and swearing at him. He tried to get the victim to move to a more secluded area of the park but he refused. This enraged the offender who set upon the victim and kicked him in the face. A second offender also joined in with the assault.
The 15-year-old boy, from St Albans, then produced a knife. At this point many of the celebratory group panicked and fled in fear.
The victim’s cousin – a 16-year-oldm boy from London Colney – bravely tried to stop the attack by hitting the offender. The offender then stabbed the 16-year-old boy in the stomach. At this stage the first victim was unconscious on the ground having been knocked out.
The offender and his friends then ran away leaving both boys seriously injured.
Emergency services were called and the stab victim was airlifted to hospital for emergency surgery to repair his gallbladder and his stomach. He’d also suffered a laceration to his scalp which required treatment.
The assault victim, who went to hospital the following day, had suffered concussion along with bruising to his face.
The following day, the 15-year-old boy was arrested along with another 15-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy.
The first 15-year-old boy was subsequently charged with Section 18 GBH in relation to the stabbing, possession of a bladed article and ABH in relation to assaulting the 16-year-old-boy.
The other 15-year-old boy, from St Albans, was charged with ABH in relation to the assault.
Today (Wednesday, November 28), following a week-long trial at St Albans Crown Court the first 15- year-old boy was found guilty of all three charges (Section 18 GBH, possession of a bladed article and ABH). He has been remanded in custody.
The other 15-year-old boy was found guilty of ABH and released on bail to await his sentencing. The 16-year-old boy was found not guilty of ABH by the jury.
The two boys will be sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on December 19.
PC Jody Perrin, who investigated, said: “It is only by sheer luck that the young stab victim in this case was not killed on that day. His injuries were severe and he needed to be airlifted to hospital for emergency surgery and he still continues to suffer pain.
“The assault victim was knocked unconscious and his injuries could have been a lot worse if his cousin had not bravely stepped in to help him.
“These attacks were completely unprovoked and the offenders went to the park that day looking for trouble.
“They didn’t give a second thought to the consequences of their actions on their victims or indeed the impact on their own young lives and those of their family.
“I hope this case sends a clear message to the young people in our community that knife crime and violence will not be tolerated in St Albans, or anywhere in Hertfordshire.”
St Albans Chief Inspector Lynda Coates said: “The impact of this incident is huge – the young victim could have died that day and had to undergo emergency surgery. Not to mention the psychological impact this incident will have had on him. The young offenders have been through the courts, which will have a lifelong impact on their careers and their future. Their families have also suffered and the wider impact that this has had on members of the community is immeasurable.
“Sadly, knives are being used by young people more frequently and we are working with schools, colleges and other agencies to try and persuade young people not to carry knives and highlight the consequences of doing so. Parents need to play their part too by checking what their children get up to, who they are hanging around with and report any suspicions about their children’s friends. Sometimes children can be stabbed by their own knives, so it is vitally important that your child does not carry a knife.
“We will continue to patrol, educate and reinforce the dangers of knives being in the hands of young people. We have a zero-tolerance approach to knife crime in St Albans and across the county.”