The incident was so frightening members of the public ran away in fear for their own safety and 22 eyewitnesses made emergency calls to police. Some even described the incident as a believed terrorist attack.
Before police arrived the suspects fled the scene on bikes and an immediate search of the area to find them began. They were nowhere to be seen, but officers found a large machete in the vicinity of the stabbing.
An investigation by the Hackney Gangs Task Force was launched – it was this team that had the task of identifying seven suspects. They spent hours analysing CCTV footage of the vicinity in the lead up to the stabbing that showed the culprits actively searching for their target. Due to strong knowledge of their local area and community, officers confidently identified those involved.
Another 17-year-old was arrested and charged on 15 May 2021. Kyle Taylor, Courtney Paul and a 15-year-old male were all arrested and charged on 20 August 2020.
The jury heard the victim had travelled with a group to London Fields armed with a machete. As they entered the park his friends ran off. The victim ran down Broadway Market and was chased by the group. He was stabbed repeatedly and bottles and chairs were thrown at him. The knife used to stab him was never found. The victim has since recovered.
In court it was stated some of the suspects googled the stabbing on their phones to read about it in the news. Paul had a photo of the victim saved in his phone but told the court he was unsure how the image came to be there.
During the investigation, officers analysed William Guy’s step counter on his phone which showed a significant number of steps at the time of the stabbing and then no steps immediately after when police were hunting for the suspects.
Officers also found evidence that William Guy, the 15-year-old and the 17-year-old were in a Snapchat group called “The real A-team”. In it, they discussed the stabbing and how they were at risk of being charged due to the strong CCTV footage.
Paul, who has two previous convictions for possession of knives, told the court he found the knife in the park and picked it up in self-defence. Guy also stated he was acting in self-defence but admitted to losing control during the stabbing.
Police Constable Cal Gregory, of the Hackney Gangs Task Force, said: “This was a horrifying incident for the victim and the many members of the public who were in the area at the time enjoying their evening. The CCTV speaks for itself and shows the stark reality and impact of knife crime on the wider community.
“It is worrying to see the young ages of defendants who were armed with machetes. The victim was also charged separately as a main aggressor in the stabbing. The incident was born out of rival groups looking to get one upon the other, however, the suspects claimed they were acting in self-defence.
“Tackling violence is the top priority of the Met I’d like to thank the various members of the public who came forward to assist the investigation that helped hold these dangerous individuals accountable. The victim did not support a police prosecution so this sends a strong message to all violent individuals that we will pursue a case wherever possible.’’
Kyle Taylor, 26 of Hackney, E8 was charged with attempted murder, violent disorder and possession of an offensive weapon. He pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon on 17 November 2020. He also pleaded guilty to GBH with intent and violent disorder on 22 September 2021.
Courtney Paul, 24, of Tottenham, N17 was charged with attempted murder, violent disorder and possession of an offensive weapon. Paul pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon on 17 November 2020. He was found guilty of GBH with intent and violent disorder and not guilty of attempted murder.
A 15-year-old male from Hackney was charged with violent disorder. At the start of the trial, the prosecution added a charge of GBH with intent. He was found not guilty on all charges.
A 17-year-old male of Hackney, E8 was charged with violent disorder. At the start of the trial, the prosecution added a charge of GBH with intent. He was found guilty of both GBH with intent and violent disorder.
William Guy, 18, from Hackney, E5 was charged with attempted murder, violent disorder and possession of an offensive weapon. He pleaded guilty to GBH with intent, violent disorder and possession of an offensive weapon on the first day of trial. But still stood trial for attempted murder where he was found not guilty.
Montel Asiedu, 25 from Hackney, E8 was charged with violent disorder and GBH with intent. He was acquitted by the court at the start of the trial.
A 17-year-old male from Hackney, E8 was charged with violent disorder. At the start of the trial, the prosecution added a charge of GBH with intent. He was found guilty of both GBH with intent and violent disorder.
For his part in the incident, the victim was arrested in August 2020. He was charged with violent disorder and possession of an offensive weapon. He subsequently pleaded guilty on 16 March 2021 at Stratford Magistrates’ Court. He was referred to the Hackney Youth Offender Panel.