A teenager was left fighting for his life after he was confronted by two armed men bent on retribution.
The victim was knifed in the neck and then chest, which penetrated his lung, causing him to collapse at the junction of Elsworthy Walk and Cuffling Drive, in Leicester’s Braunstone Frith, at 6.25pm on Wednesday November 25.
His mother was told to “pray for the best,” such was her 19-year-old son’s critical condition as he underwent life-saving surgery.
Callum Beane, 20, who delivered the near-fatal blow, was convicted by a Leicester Crown Court jury of wounding, with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, and possessing a knife in public, which he denied.
Keagan Costello, also 20, was acquitted of the joint wounding charge that he also denied.
However, he earlier pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon, a machete, during the same incident and was sentenced in relation to that.
Judge Timothy Spencer QC said it was another case illustrating the “futility” and “feckless stupidity” of young men taking bladed weapons onto the streets.
He said: “Only last week in this very courtroom I sentenced someone else for murder in similar circumstances.”
He continued: “This case has a history leading up to the events of November 25.
“No-one can be precise when the first incident in Western Park happened, whether it was weeks or months, but it was brewing for some time.
“It began in the mid-afternoon in a public park in this city when you two, I’m quite certain, were armed with knives and sought to pick on him – seeing yourselves as hard men, bigging yourselves up and you were the aggressors on that occasion and admitted throwing punches, without any physical response from him.
“It set in motion a disastrous chain of events.”
By then the complainant collected his friends and went to an address in Braunstone Frith where he challenged Beane to a one-to-one fist fight, which Beane refused, although he went into the front garden wielding one or, possibly, two knives “in bravado”.
The judge said: “Callum Beane, you felt humiliated and shown up by the way he faced you out.”
He said that on the day of the stabbing it was “no coincidence” both defendants were armed and looking for the victim to settle the score in a pre-meditated assault.
Beane, of Kelbrook Close, Beaumont Leys, had a significant knife, later disposed of, that “nearly killed” the victim, said Judge Spencer.
Costello, of Compass Road, Thurnby Lodge, had a machete with a blade of at least 18 inches which “distracted” the victim as Beane moved in and stabbed him in the neck area.
Judge Spencer said the victim had no opportunity to deflect the “devastating” blow that penetrated his chest wall, slicing into the upper part of his lung, resulting in a large build up of blood and air in the chest wall.
The victim collapsed. He suffered massive blood loss and his life was only saved by the skill of surgeons.
The judge added: “His mother was told to pray for the best as he was rushed to hospital, everyone knew how close he was to losing his life.”
He told Beane: “You have previous convictions, the most worrying is of possessing a bladed article earlier last year and you went into custody [four month sentence] and hadn’t learnt your lesson.
“It’s had an ongoing effect on the victim who has lost some of the function of his arm and part of his right chest.”
He said Beane had experienced “a desperately sad” life. His mother died when he was 14 and he ended up in care, but his father had attended the trial and was supporting him, along with his girlfriend.
The judge told Costello: “It’s time to end this madness and infatuation with weapons, you’ve seen what happen when people use knives.”
He said he took into account Costello had already served six months on remand in custody awaiting trial, before being acquitted of joint responsibility for the wounding.
Julia King, prosecuting, said the victim’s personal impact statement described reliving the ordeal in court as “very traumatic.”
He suffers from terrifying nightmares and no longer goes out alone.
He stated: “It scares me to think I could so easily have died.
“When I went out with a friend that day I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d nearly lose my life.”
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He said he felt lucky to be alive and was now a more appreciative, grateful and humble person.
His mother took time off work to help him recover and he had time off work as an electrician and gave up a part-time chef’s job, due to lack of movement in his right arm – and he no longer liked “being around knives”.
Before the attack he had collected knives, which were later confiscated by the police.
He described six “lonely” and “confusing” days at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre, particularly so because of the Covid restrictions.
Matthew Hardyman, mitigating for Beane, said: “It’s another example of the futility of knives.
“The complainant was very close to death and my client has reflected on it – he was 19 at the time.
“He knows he’s going to be spending many of the best years of his life in custody but he still had a future ahead.
“He can be a calm, polite and a cooperative person.”
Michael Garvey, mitigating for Costello, said: “He has no previous convictions, he left school with eight GCSEs and went to college to acquire qualifications in bricklaying. He found it difficult to get permanent employment and wasn’t working when this event happened.
“He’s very much at the start of his adult life and it’s been an enormously salutary experience – and he’s sworn off knives forever.”
Beane was given a 10 year detention sentence.
Costello was given a 14 month detention sentence, suspended for two years.
Both were placed on indefinite restraining orders banning future contact with the victim.
Afterwards, the investigating officer, Detective Constable Simon Roberts said: “This was a violent assault on a man which left him in a critical condition.
“He had to undergo intensive surgery. The incident will affect him for the rest of his life.
“I hope today’s sentence will allow him to move forward and start to put the events of that day behind him.
“I hope this case also serves as the strongest of warnings to anyone who illegally carries a knife that will will pursue you and bring you to justice.”