London

Knife attacker's anonymity lifted amid London crime 'epidemic'

Old Bailey court Image copyright PA
Image caption Rimel Hanchard was jailed for seven-and-a-half years for attempted murder at the Old Bailey

A judge has lifted an anonymity order on a 17-year-old who stabbed another teenager, in a bid to tackle London's knife crime "epidemic".

Rimel Hanchard's 14-year-old victim almost bled to death from a severed artery following the attack in Croydon, south London, last year.

The victim refused to give evidence against Hanchard at the Old Bailey.

Hanchard, of Gipsy Hill, south-east London, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years for attempted murder.

He had denied the charge but was convicted of knifing the teenager three times to the face and neck on the evening of 3 February 2017.

'Epidemic proportions'

People under 18 involved in legal proceedings are commonly protected by anonymity orders.

Judge Richard Marks QC, the Common Serjeant of London, lifted an order on Hanchard and said there was "no doubt" it was appropriate given the circumstances.

He said knife crime "has reached almost epidemic proportions, particularly among young people in the Greater London area".

It is not clear why Hanchard attacked his victim, but it is thought the younger boy may have been trying to break up a fight.

The victim was on life support for several days after the attack which has damaged his voice and breathing for the rest of his life, the court heard.

The boy had prepared some last words for his family before doctors managed to stabilise him.

In an impact statement, his mother said: "My son went from being a fun-loving, confident and vibrant person to someone who's withdrawn, depressed and extremely angry because of this careless act."

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