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17-year-old jailed for Old Kent Road ‘knife in skull’ attack

17-year-old Yassin Elmansouri has been sentenced to an indeterminate life sentence for attempted murder outside Tesco in the Old Kent Road.

X-rays of Victim 1's skull with the knife embedded
X-rays of Ahmed's skull with the knife embedded. He has recovered from his injuries.

Elmansouri was sentenced at Inner London Crown Court on Thursday. He must serve seven years before he can be considered for parole, and a further seven years for each of two counts of grievous bodily harm to run concurrently.

He appeared for trial on 23 September after an incident in which three youths were stabbed in the Old Kent Road in November 2007. He was found guilty two days later and has now been named and sentenced.

Police were called to Old Kent Road, outside the Tesco supermarket, at around 4.40pm on 28 November 2007. Three youths had suffered stabbing injuries. They were all taken by ambulance to separate London hospitals.

Victim 1 sustained a head injury and was taken to hospital where he was detained. The knife was still embedded in his head; Victim 2 received a chest injury but was later discharged from hospital; Victim 3 suffered minor injuries to the shoulder and was discharged the following day.

The court heard that Elmansouri and two others tried to rob a boy outside Tesco in the Old Kent Road. The intended victim's friends stepped in and were stabbed.

Elmansouri was seen running away having dropped his hat at the crime scene and his mobile phone. He was heard to shout to his companions to go back and get his hat.

The items were recovered and sent to the Forensic Science Service, where a few days later the suspect was identified. He was arrested at his home on 1 December 2007 and charged the following day.

"The attack has made me more paranoid, and more wary about being in a similar situation again," says the attempted murder victim, known as 'Ahmed'.

"The injury has slowed me down in terms of my reactions when I am asked to perform sudden movements. I am not able to play sport, or run around as I could before.

"This has added to my frustration as I knew before the attack how able and sporty I was. I will no doubt have to live with this for the rest of my life."

His mother Fattoum says the family has accepted that 'Ahmed' will be more dependent on his family than he would have been because of his injuries. But she said that every day her son was alive was seen by the family as a blessing.

"No one hearing details of this case could fail to be horrified by the fact that one young man stabbed three boys over a mobile phone," says DCI Dave Ainscough of Southwark Police.

"Because he was carrying a knife he used it and in his frenzy he stabbed one boy so hard that it was embedded in his skull and the handle came away as he tried to withdraw the knife.

"Only the skill of a surgeon saved his life but he will need considerable support for the rest of his life. No one hearing these facts will be surprised at how seriously the court has taken this case in sentencing this seventeen year old boy to a serious term of imprisonment.

"It shows how seriously we must all continue to take the carrying of knives on our streets."

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