Nine men have received custodial sentences for their involvement in a violent disturbance that resulted in the death of a young man in Maidstone.
Andre Bent, 21, was stabbed to death in the early hours of Sunday 25 August 2019 when fighting broke out in the street.
His killer, 17-year-old Vasilios Ofogeli, was found guilty of murder last month following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court.
The jury heard how Ofogeli was one of a group of friends who had travelled to Maidstone from London to watch a performance at a nightclub in the town, which ended just before 3am on the morning in question.
A fight broke out among various people who had left the club, who were shown on CCTV to be punching, kicking and hitting each other with belts.
In the hours following the disturbance a large amount of mobile phone footage was posted on social media, and together with CCTV evidence detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate were able to establish exactly who had been involved.
The following nine men were all arrested in the days and weeks that followed, and pleaded guilty to violent disorder prior to their sentencing at Reading Crown Court on Friday 24 April 2020.
- Ryan Lowe-White, 22, of Boyton Close, Hornsey – sentenced to one year and eight months;
- Ali Aziz, 24, of no fixed address – sentenced to one year and 10 months;
- Nathaniel Small, 22, of Boyton Road, Hornsey – sentenced to two years;
- Mohamed Gelani, 24, of Newland Road, Hornsey – sentenced to one year and nine months;
- Darien Thompson-Cox, 21, of Raleigh Road, Hornsey – sentenced to two years and two months;
- Yusuf Aweys, 20, of Holly Park Road, New Southgate – sentenced to one year and 11 months;
- Jerral Johnson-Lowe, 26, of Boyton Close, Hornsey – sentenced to two years;
- Kaline Riley, 23, of Campsfield Road, Hornsey – sentenced to one year and nine months;
- Rheo Lawrence, 29, of Otley Way in Watford, Hertfordshire – sentenced to one year and 11 months.
In addition to being found guilty of the murder of Andre Bent, Vasilios Ofogeli was also convicted of two counts of attempted murder and one count of wounding with intent in relation to the stabbing of three other men during the same disturbance.
Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Patrick Milford said: ‘These nine men came from London to Maidstone to watch a musical performance at a local nightclub but brought with them a level of violence that was shocking to witness.
‘While none of those sentenced today dealt the fatal blow that ended Andre Bent’s life, it is safe to say he would still be alive today if the fighting had never broken out in the first place.
‘I hope the sentences imposed by the court today send a clear message to others that we do not tolerate such violence here in Kent and will not rest until those responsible are tracked down and brought to justice.’