Axe-wielding gang member jailed for six years

An axe-wielding teenager was jailed for six years yesterday (Wednesday) after hacking at a 14-year-old rival gang member’s head in a Highgate court house.

After “having been called to arms” at a stand off between the Northumberland Park Killers and the Wood Green Young Guns, Bienvenu Vangu waded into the confrontation armed with a rusty “tomahawk-like” axe, a court heard.

Jeffrey Israel, prosecuting, told Wood Green Crown Court how Vangu levelled “violent, vicious swings” at the group of youths in Highgate Magistrates’ Court.

Mr Israel said: “One of them slipped to the ground and this defendant wields four full-armed violent and described as vicious hacks at this man’s head.”

The 14-year-old victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was described as bleeding profusely from a 6cm cut to his head. An air ambulance was called to Bishops Road, such was the perceived seriousness of the injuries.

The victim was given a tetanus jab and his head and torso injuries were irrigated at the Whittington Hospital. He was discharged a short time later and the injuries were described as superficial in medical reports.

Vangu, a member of the Wood Green Young Guns, also charged down a 15-year-old boy as he sought sanctuary in the court house. The court’s security guards had locked the doors as the youngsters spilled into the street outside and the victim could not get back in.

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Vangu delivered two hard blows to the rival gang member’s back, causing bruising to his chest and back.

The violent incident erupted on September 1 after the rival gangs had been goading each other outside a youth court.

Police recovered the axe and two knives stashed in nearby bushes.

Sentencing, Judge Morrison said: “Having been called to arms by one of the warring factions or other, when you came to the location you armed yourself. It was in public and it was a sustained attack in public.

“Not only outside on the public highway where anyone could see anything going on and be frightened, but also in a public building where people are entitled to assume they can go about their business.”

Vangu, St Leonards Close in Essex, pleaded guilty to violent disorder, two counts of attempted wounding with intent and possession of a sharp pointed article, namely an axe, in a public place.

Judge Morrison also attached a four-year licence period to the sentence to “safeguard the public” on his release. Angolan-born Vangu has a string of convictions stretching back to 2007.