Eight years for man guilty of Halloween party stabbing
A man involved in a vicious and unprovoked Halloween party stabbing has been sentenced to eight years in a young offenders institution.
Akim Barton, 20, of Highcliffe Drive, Roehampton, was part of an attack on two men in their 20s - Ryan Ashby and Louis Sparrow - in Sherfield Gardens on the Alton estate in Roehampton in October 2013.
A knife was pulled and Mr Ashby was stabbed six times in his arms, legs and the side of his chest, suffering "excruciating pain", Kingston Crown Court heard on Friday.
He needed 56 stitches and took two-and-a-half weeks to recover in hospital.
Mr Sparrow was also stabbed in the arm and slashed across his torso. A mobile phone was also stolen.
It is believed the row started when some of the people were trying to get into a Halloween party thrown by one of the victim's girlfriends.
Recorder Ann Mulligan said that although the 20-year-old may not have been the one to use the knife the attack was a joint enterprise - making all of the attackers responsible for what happened.
She pointed to evidence given by Mr Ashby's girlfriend that Barton was still kicking Mr Ashby after the stabbing and the others had left.
Defence counsel Bill Maley QC said Barton, who pleaded not guilty, had expressed sympathy for the victims and their families.
Mr Maley said: "He would not have wished this on anyone."
He also acknowledged Barton’s previous convictions, which include attempted robbery and drug possession, but asked the judge to consider his efforts to complete his studies.
Mr Maley said: "He does have, as any young man should have, potential to turn his life around and to have a bright future."
In explaining her sentence, Recorder Mulligan mentioned Barton’s previous convictions and family background, saying: "You have been absent a father figure. In essence it seems that you got in with a wrong crowd.
"You have a loving family and they try to support you as best they can."
She also said she had considered the trauma suffered by the victims, particularly Mr Ashby, who had to suspend his degree and is still in counselling.
She said: "He is still coming to terms with the fact that he still doesn’t know the answer to the question, 'why'."
Barton was sentenced to eight years in custody for each of two counts of wounding with intent, and two years for one count of affray, all to be served concurrently. He will serve up to four years.