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New top judge triples teenager's stabbing sentence

PUBLISHED: 12:03 15 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:30 07 September 2010

ENGLAND S newly-appointed top judge has trebled a teenager s sentence for repeatedly stabbing a refugee in Golders Green after a row over chips. Abdul Jabarkhil - who had fled a war zone for the apparent haven of London - was stabbed six times by his 16-y

ENGLAND'S newly-appointed top judge has trebled a teenager's sentence for repeatedly stabbing a refugee in Golders Green after a row over chips.

Abdul Jabarkhil - who had fled a war zone for the apparent haven of London - was stabbed six times by his 16-year-old attacker after a late-night row at the Dixie Chicken takeaway, in Finchley Road, spilled onto the street.

Vowing to stamp down on knife crime, the Lord Chief Justice, Igor Judge, said the 12-month sentence initially handed out to the youth, who cannot be named because he is under 18, was "significantly unduly lenient", given his victim's horrific injuries.

Mr Jabarkhil lost 1.2 litres of blood in the November 2007 attack.

Lord Judge, sitting at the Appeal Court with Mr Justice Owen and Mr Justice Christopher Clarke, said the judge who passed the first sentence had placed too much emphasis on the knifeman's youth and remorse and not paid enough heed to the prevalence of knife-related crime.

"In our judgement she attached too much weight to the mitigating factors," he said. "Let us repeat this message from the court: those who carry knives on the streets and use them to wound and injure must expect severe punishment. No ifs, no buts, no perhaps.

"We must do what we can to eradicate this dreadful problem of knives being carried and used."

The Lord Chief Justice trebled the attacker's sentence from 12 months to three years.

The violence erupted after the 16-year-old's friend complained about the quality of his chips - served by Mr Jabarkhil - prompting a furious altercation in which he demanded a refund.

The row culminated in the friend hurling chips at Mr Jabarkhil and restaurant staff ushering the teenagers into the street. Once outside, Mr Jabarkhil was punched by another of the youth's accomplices and then the 16-year-old pulled out a kitchen knife with an 8cm blade and repeatedly stabbed him in the shoulder and chest. He suffered a collapsed lung and has been left psychologically scarred.

He had fled his homeland to save his life, said the Lord Chief Justice, but on the night of the stabbing "as he saw blood pouring through the wound he was convinced that he would die".

The attacker's parents were at the back of the court as he delivered the ruling, and the judge commended them for having "stood by" their son.

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