Saturday, September 18, 2004

British Justice Part 512

Five people were murdered in London on Thursday, including an elderly couple and a schoolboy who died trying to protect a friend.

The same day, BBC radio news announced that "A boy who stabbed a jogger in a north London park has been jailed for life."

There's a portrait of the youth (his victim survived thanks to a passing doctor) here.

Detective Chief Inspector Ron Scott described Cecchetti, who has more than 20 previous convictions, including stabbing a 12-year-old when he was 12 himself, as the most dangerous juvenile in the UK.

The boy whispered, "Hello, jogging princess, I'll get you on your next lap", moments before plunging a six-inch knife into the teacher's stomach and then trying to kick her wound. She managed to run off, but he pursued her, shouting abuse.

Six weeks earlier, Cecchetti was released from Feltham young offenders centre in Middlesex after serving a sentence for robbery. Considered a threat to women and known for using knives - his mother called the police when he left home with a kitchen knife aged 11 - he was ordered to have sessions with probation staff during the day and to wear an electronic tag to ensure he stayed at home from 7pm to 8am.

Cecchetti yawned and smirked yesterday as he was given a life sentence at Maidstone crown court for the Clissold Park stabbing and unlawfully wounding 17-year-old Curtis Byfield in Finsbury Park last year. Byfield said his former friend had laughed as he stabbed him in the chest, half an inch from his heart.

Detectives initially thought the person who stabbed American artist Margaret Muller to death in nearby Victoria Park in February last year was also responsible for the Clissold Park attack. But Cecchetti had been in a secure unit in Peterborough that day, where he attacked two members of staff. Ms Muller's killer has not yet been caught.

Earlier this year, at the Old Bailey, Cecchetti also admitted possession of heroin with intent to supply while on remand at Feltham.

His primary school teachers decided he was uncontrollable at the age of nine, when he produced a knife in class.

What BBC radio news didn't announce is that "Judge Warwick McKinnon said Cecchetti would not be considered for parole until he has served "at least four years in custody"."

Four years. He'll be 20. That'll teach him.

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