Tyrese Osei-Kofi has been jailed for ten years for stabbing his friend in a petty squabble
A teenager who left a 17-year-old college student blind and comatose after stabbing him in the heart during a petty row outside a supermarket has been jailed for ten years.
Tyrese Osei-Kofi, 18, pulled out a knife and stabbed his friend Jamel Boyce just a few hours after they were seen laughing and joking together at a McDonald’s.
Jamel, now 18, was nicknamed ‘Smiley’ by fellow pupils at St Francis Xavier sixth form college in south London, because of his upbeat attitude.
He suffered permanent damage to his brain after it was starved of oxygen, and will likely remain in a vegetative state for the rest of his life, requiring 24-hour care at an acute rehabilitation unit.
Pansy Boyce, his mother, attended the Old Bailey where she tearfully read a prepared statement.
She said: ‘Jamel is a very shy, humble boy who always used to have a smile on his face.
‘He is introverted but naturally affable with a kind hearted pleasant demeanour which resulted in him being given the nickname Smiley at college.’
Jamel Boyce was left in a vegetative state following the attack, which unfolded a few hours after he and his attacker were seen laughing together in a McDonalds (video below)
Ms Boyce added: ‘I just want Jamel to make a full and swift recovery and to be healthy and normal again. I wish I could take away his pain.
‘When you read about the knife crime epidemic sweeping our streets in the newspapers you always pray it won’t happen to your child and your heart automatically goes out to the victim’s mother. I just want my son Jamel back.’
Osei-Kofi admitted arguing with Jamel but claimed that someone else stabbed the teenager at the rear of a Sainsbury’s store in Clapham High Street.
He was cleared of attempted murder but convicted of the lesser alternative charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm following a trial at the Old Bailey.
Jamel Boyce’s mother said he was ‘smiley and kind-hearted’ and she just wanted him to recover
Judge Richard Marks QC sentenced Osei-Kofi to ten years in a young offenders institution.
The judge said: ‘This case illustrates once again how dangerous knives are because it is so easy to use them once an argument arises if they are readily available.
‘In the current climate those who use knives in a public place and those in doing so to inflict serious injury are bound to receive serious sentences.’
The judge said the court may never learn the real reason the fight broke out, but that it appeared to be over a petty argument.
Victim’s father says dysfunctional families are behind violence surge
Jamel Boyce’s father Patrick Boyce says dysfunctional families are to blame for the capital’s murder rise.
He told Radio 5 Live: ‘It starts with the parents. Parents need to take control of their child.’
‘My child can’t have knives in his bedroom. There are no drugs in his bedroom. If we get those issues sorted first, then schooling.
‘We need to get these children into a position where they can see a future, an option. Rather than I’m going to pick up a knife and sell drugs. Because that’s what it comes down to is drugs. It’s a drug war.’
Boyce’s son Jamel remains in hospital and needs 24-hour care at an acute rehabilitation unit. His family have launched a GoFundMe to raise money for his care.