Sheffield knife gang jail term appeal thrown out

COURT: Court Case
COURT: Court Case

A gang of teenage thugs who left two innocent men fighting for their lives after a horrific stabbing in Sheffield city centre have lost appeals against their 15-year sentences.

Friends Paul Marisson and Daniel Mace, both aged 24 at the time, were on their way home from a night out when they were set upon by a gang of thugs outside City Hall and knifed repeatedly.

Sheldon Jordan, Reece Barnes and Yousef Alquebai were found guilty of the attack by a jury at Sheffield Crown Court and jailed for 15 years each last July.

But at the Court of Appeal lawyers argued their sentences were too long.

Judges in London rejected claims their sentences should have been lower because they were just 16 and 17 at the time of the attack.

The court heard Jordan and Alquebai, now both 18, and Barnes, now 19, were with a gang of youths in Sheffield city centre ‘looking for trouble’ in the early hours of June 26, 2011.

After a row with a first group, they attacked the next young men to walk past.

Paul and Daniel were punched, kicked and headbutted before knives were used to stab Paul twice and Daniel eight times.

Both suffered life-threatening injuries – Paul a punctured spleen and Daniel collapsed lungs – and both had to undergo extensive surgery.

Sentencing them at their original trial, Judge Peter Kelson QC said it was ‘difficult to imagine’ a more ‘cowardly and hateful attack’. It was ‘only by sheer good fortune’ neither victim died.

Alquebai and Barnes were the knifemen, but Jordan had pointed out where CCTV cameras were.

Alquebai, of The Oval, Firth Park, had previous convictions for disorderly behaviour, and Barnes, of Ferrars Road, Tinsley, for robbery while using a knife.

Jordan, of City Road, was of previous good character.

Rejecting the appeals, Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart said: “The judge conducted a trial and was in a far better position than this court to form a view of the maturity of these offenders.

“It’s clear they were out to intimidate other members of the public and their willingness to indulge in gratuitous violence was made only too clear.

“The consequences for both of the victims have been very severe and are ones they will carry for the rest of their lives.”