BY TOBY PORTER
A teenager has been jailed at the Old Bailey for a vicious stabbing in South London that left his 17-year-old victim in a minimally conscious state due to a catastrophic brain injury.
Tyrese Osei-Kofi, 18, of Lordship Lane, SE22, was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment on Friday, May 4 for inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on Jamel Boyce in Clapham Common on Friday, October 14, 2016.
Osei-Kofi was previously found guilty on Tuesday, March 27 of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent. He was found not guilty of attempted murder at the same hearing.
An investigation was launched after police were called by the London Ambulance Service just after 7pm that evening to reports that a young man had been stabbed in Triangle Place, SW4 near the entrance to a supermarket car park.
Officers and LAS attended and found Jamel with stab wounds to the chest and leg. While the latter wound was superficial, the former had penetrated his heart and punctured his lung which caused Jamel to collapse and go into cardiac arrest.
Paramedics and a trauma team who treated him at the scene performed surgery at the roadside and managed to restart Jamel’s heart before he was rushed to hospital. However he had been deprived of oxygen for a critical 14 minutes, which was found to have caused around a 75 to 80 per cent loss of brain function.
Doctors concluded that Jamel, a business student at St Francis Xavier College in Clapham, had been left in a vegetative state by the brain injury and was extremely unlikely to ever make any significant recovery. He was subsequently transferred to a specialist long-term care facility where he remains today.
The jury at the Old Bailey was shown CCTV footage of Jamel in McDonald’s earlier that afternoon with a group of friends, including Osei-Kofi. Around four hours later, shoppers observed a scuffle going on outside the car park of a local supermarket and described seeing Jamel pinned up against a wall by Osei-Kofi, while other youths watched ‘like a pack of animals surrounding a buffalo’, in the words of one witness.
Osei-Kofi was heard shouting for a ‘chiv’ (knife) whilst holding his right arm against Jamel’s neck to trap the teenager against some railings before inflicting the stab wounds and leaving the scene.
Osei-Kofi was first interviewed after handing himself into police on October 20, 2016 following media appeals in which his father recognised him. He was subsequently re-arrested on December 22, 2016, and charged on April 13, 2017.
Following the verdict Detective Constable Sarah Mustoe, of Lambeth CID, who led the investigation, said: “On October 14, 2016, Jamel’s future was cruelly torn from him. Following what appears to have been a minor disagreement, he received what clearly would have been a fatal stab wound to the chest had it not been for the skill of the trauma team who attended the scene. Sadly, as a result of this injury, Jamel was left fighting for his life and suffered a severe and permanent brain injury.
“Jamel maintains an extremely low level of consciousness. He has been left paralysed, blind, unable to communicate, and in need of 24-hour care. His life was changed dramatically following those few seconds and his family’s grief at losing the boy they cherished is immeasurable.
“I hope some closure can be gained from the perpetrator having been brought to account for his terrible crime.”
Speaking after the trial, Jamel’s mother, Pansy Boyce, thanked the London Air Ambulance Service, King’s College Hospital and Northwick Park Hospital for going to extreme measures to save Jamel’s life, first at the scene and then in the days and weeks following the incident.
She said: “The care that Jamel received from the medical team was second to none. He fought for his life in those first few weeks and they were there every step of the way to help him. I also want to extend my deepest thanks to the two officers who gave first aid to Jamel and to Dr Konig and his team for saving my son. Without their courage, determination and brilliance, my son would not be alive today. Lastly, I would like to pay tribute to my Family Liaison Officer and the investigation team who have been a constant source of support through the darkest days.”
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