A fifteen-year-old who stabbed a rival schoolboy in a park in Leeds to prove himself to members of his gang has been locked up.
A court heard the 14-year-old victim could have been fatally wounded as the weapon was plunged into his back during the incident in Gotts Park, Armley.
He needed 23 stitches to the wound and was unable to return to school for four months after suffering the injury.
Leeds Crown Court heard the boy who attacked him was part of the ‘blue gang’. Members of the gang all wore blue bandannas.
After his arrest the youngster, who cannot be named, told youth workers that he enjoyed fighting and violence was all part of being in the gang.
The boy was sentenced to four years’ detention after pleading guilty to robbery and possession of an offensive weapon. Stephanie Hancock, prosecuting, said the victim was targeted as he played on swings in the park at 6.30pm on February 11. He was approached by the 15-year-old and another youth, who has not been identified, and told he would be ‘lashed’ unless he handed over his mobile phone.
Miss Hancock said the victim understood the term to mean that he would be stabbed.
The attacker took off the boy’s baseball cap and there was struggle before he was held by the other youth.
The victim was stabbed before his attackers ran off.
The boy was left covered in blood and ran to a nearby takeaway for help. Ian Cook, mitigating, said the defendant was a promising rugby player but had now thrown any future career in the sport away.
Mr Cook said the boy was sorry for what he had done.
Judge Guy Kearl, QC, told the boy: “It could have been fatal to him. He could have died.”