West Hampstead knife attack: Terail McDonald faces six-year sentence for stabbing ‘friend’ in Billy Fury Way
PUBLISHED: 21:22 12 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:32 13 June 2019
A teenager has been jailed for six years over the horrific West Hampstead stabbing that left Michael Onabanjo close to death in an alleyway with his intestines exposed.
Terail McDonald, 17, must serve at least half his sentence behind bars he can be released on licence after being convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and carrying a blade.
The attack took place on November 6 in Billy Fury Way.
McDonald can now be named after Judge Jane Sullivan lifted an anonymity order at Blackfriars Crown Court on Tuesday.
The judge had agreed to withhold McDonald's identity from the public throughout his prosecution as he is not yet 18. His details can only now be revealed and the case reported in full after the Ham&High successfully argued in court for the order to be lifted.
McDonald had considered his victim Mr Onanbanjo a friend prior to the attack and McDonald had even had breakfast cooked for him by Mr Onanbanjo's sister's boyfriend Adeyamo Adeisa previously.
During the trial, a statement from Mr Onanbanjo was read out explaining that in the aftermath of the attack he had been "unable to shower or climb stairs independently".
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Sentencing McDonald, Judge Sullivan accepted that he was not a danger to the public but told him: "You stabbed him in the stomach and caused an abdominal wound so large his bowels were protruding."
The judge also recognised the "exemplary" pre-sentencing reports about McDonald, and cited positive comments including that McDonald "has adopted a reflective attitude to both this incident and his life generally.".
Defence barrister Mr Dominic Bell said in mitigation: "He [McDonald] is determined that this period of his life has ended.
"He's very lucky that expertise of the paramedics and the skills of the surgeons [mean] he's not facing a murder charge - this is a real wake-up call.
"Clearly, he is a vulnerable young man who was exploited by a County Lines gang. He is capable of changing and there is already evidence of that change."
The court also heard McDonald was subject to a referral order after a conviction for possession with intent to supply drugs at the time of the offence. During his time on remand the would-be actor had been preparing to sit GCSEs.
The investigating officer, the Met's Det Con Chris Shepherd, said after the sentencing: "The stabbing appears to have been the result of an argument between friends, which escalated needlessly and violently to leave the victim suffering critical injuries.
"This case serves as a reminder of the danger of carrying a knife."
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