A teenage boy has been sentenced to seven years in prison after stabbing a man in Watford.
Hugo Da Silva, aged 17, of Marlborough Road, Watford, appeared before Wood Green Crown Court on Friday, March 29, after being found guilty of Section 18 Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH).
His Honour Judge Dodd QC praised a ‘first class police investigation’ before lifting the automatic court reporting restrictions that would otherwise prevent the media from naming child defendants, attributing his decision to the seriousness of the offence and the current climate around knife crime in the UK.
Adam Jaylani, aged 20, of Orange Hill Road, Edgware, was found guilty of Section 20 GBH in relation to the same incident and also appeared before Wood Green Crown Court on the same day.
He was sentenced to 16 months in prison.
The court heard how on November 7 last year, the victim – a 20-year-old man from Watford – went into town with two friends.
While they were near to the Paddy Power betting shop they were approached by a number of other young men, including Jaylani and Da Silva, just after 5.30pm.
The group demanded the victim’s phone and when he refused to hand it over, Jaylani began to physically assault him.
During the scuffle, Da Silva stabbed the victim a number of times.
He suffered a perforated lung and bowel, as well as wounds to his arms and shoulders.
Despite his injuries the victim managed to break away from the group and run up the road to Tops Pizza, where he collapsed.
He was taken to Watford General Hospital where his injuries were initially thought to be life-threatening, however after a stay in intensive care he thankfully later recovered.
With the help of CCTV operators, Da Silva was identified via still images of the incident.
As a result, he was arrested at his address in Watford less than two hours after the stabbing. Jaylani was arrested the following morning.
They were both forensically linked to the crime after the victim’s blood was found on both their clothes. The weapon used, a flick knife with a 9cm blade, was found discarded in the nearby Iceland car park after officers searched the area.
Watford Chief Inspector Matt Phillips said: “Da Silva and Jaylani subjected the victim to a vicious attack simply for not handing over his mobile phone. He very nearly lost his life but thankfully he made a full recovery after some time spent in the intensive care unit. However it could have easily been so different.”
“My team and I are pleased with the sentence handed down by the judge and this wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of Detective Constable Andy Metselaar, who spent many hours building a strong case against both defendants. Seven years is the maximum sentence that can be given to a minor for this offence, and the judge was able to achieve this after receiving letters from both the Mayor and the Business Improvement District (BID) in Watford detailing the impact the incident had on the town. We hope this result gives the victim some comfort and the ability to move forward from his ordeal.”
“We believe the sentence serves as a robust message to those who choose to carry and use knives. You will be arrested, charged and brought to justice if you engage in mindless and unacceptable acts of violence.”
Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, said: “This was an abhorrent act which has absolutely has no place in our town. I’m pleased that these sentences have been handed out, which will send out a strong signal to anyone who thinks this is acceptable in Watford. I will continue to work closely with the police to ensure people are safe in our town.”
Chief Executive of Watford BID, Maria Manion, said: “We want people to feel safe and be safe in our town. This was an appalling crime which was dealt with by the Police and courts. It sends out a strong message that such acts of mindless violence are unacceptable in Watford and will not be tolerated.”
If you are concerned someone you know may be carrying a knife, visit knifefree.co.uk for information and support.