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Man jailed for role in violent street attack

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.

A man has been jailed for eight and a half years for his part in a “vicious, cowardly and unprovoked” street attack.

A court heard Charlie Knight, 20, of Sir Lewis Street, North Lynn, and formerly of Broadgate, Sutton St Edmund, was arrested in Lynn a few weeks after the incident in Harlow, Essex, after he was recognised by a police officer.

Knight, who has 33 previous convictions, was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday, having admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent.

He was given an extended term of 11 and a half years, including three years on licence once he is released. The immediate custodial element is eight and a half years.

His co-accused, Osa Akpata, also 20, of Bishop’s Stortford, was jailed for 13 years, plus a further three years on licence, after a jury convicted him of attempted murder.

The pair had been caught on a resident’s private CCTV system chasing Robert Summerville, in The Downs, Harlow, at 1.30pm on January 26 last year armed with a hammer and a knife like object.

Mr Summerville, 24, suffered a punctured lung, fractured rib, a serious eye injury and numerous other wounds and spent three days in hospital.

Judge David Turner QC said both men posed a danger to the public because of their “volatile, unpredictable aggression” and the fact they were ready to carry and use weapons.

He said: “You both have considerable anger issues and a tendency to act impulsively.”

The court heard both defendants had had disrupted childhoods and spent time in care. They met in a care home.

Both men are currently being held in the high security Belmarsh prison, from where Akpata appeared via video link. Knight appeared in the dock flanked by three prison wardens and a security officer.

Judge Turner said: “The attack was unexpected, unprovoked, vicious, cowardly, merciless and sustained.

“Blows were forceful and deliberate, 13 in all. The CCTV makes chilling viewing.

“Knight you took a hammer, Akpata you say it was a screwdriver. The victim was a stranger. It was two on one.

“He showed no signs of defending himself or being in any position to do so. He was outnumbered, unarmed and defenceless.”

Blows from Akpata felled Mr Summerville to the ground, where Knight hit him in the head with a hammer. Akpata then went back for three more stabs to the chest.

Akpata was convicted after a trial last September. He denied and was acquitted of carrying an offensive weapon, a knife. Knight had admitted possessing an offensive weapon, a hammer.

Akpata claimed he had been with Knight earlier but said they had separated shortly before the attack and met up again after it.

He also claimed Knight told him he and another man had gone to buy cannabis and Mr Summerville was one of three men who had tried to rob Knight at knife point.


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