Young footballer locked up for 12 years after 'vicious' machete attack
- Credit: Essex Police
A promising young footballer from Colchester who slashed a man’s face with a machete - causing a horrific wound which needed 100 stitches - has been locked up for 12 years.
Sentencing 19-year-old Dylan Awulonu at Ipswich Crown Court, Judge Emma Peters described the knife as “vicious” and said the attack had left the victim scarred for life.
She said Awulonu had gone as “back up” with another man to supply drugs to the victim in Colchester on the night of the attack.
There was bad blood between the victim and Awulonu because they were in rival groups in Colchester.
After an exchange of words with the victim, Awulonu produced a “vicious” looking machete from his trousers.
Awulonu struck the victim in the face with the machete and the force of the blow fractured his cheekbone, resulting in him needing surgery to insert a metal plate.
The blow also caused an “enormous” cut running the entire length of his face, which needed 100 stitches.
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Judge Peters said the victim had been left with a significant scar on his face which caused him embarrassment and had impacted on his professional life, because he thought prospective employers made assumptions about him being “trouble”.
Judge Peters said knife crime was having a “repulsive” impact on the streets of this country.
“The courts must take such offences seriously and there must be a deterrent value to sentences,” she said.
“Young men who bring knives to the scene immediately increase the risk of danger of very serious injury and sometimes far worse than that."
She said that Awulonu had no previous convictions and prior to the offence had the potential of gaining a football scholarship in America.
She said it was a great shame that he had become involved in gang and drug culture and knife violence, as he had ruined his own life as well as the victim’s.
Judge Peters said she had watched a drill video featuring the defendant but had come to the conclusion that the lyrics were bravado and she didn’t feel that he met the criteria of being considered a dangerous offender.
Awulonu, 19, of Avon Way, Colchester, denied wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm on December 22 2019 and having a machete in Gascoigne Road, Colchester, on the same date - but was found guilty after a trial.
He will have to serve two thirds of his sentence before he can be considered for release.
Charles Conway, for Awulonu, said his client had not planned the attack and had acted impulsively in a “moment of madness”, having gone along as back-up for a drug deal.
Investigating officer Avive Parkes, from Colchester CID, said: “Dylan Awulonu used extreme violence against the victim, leaving him with a significant injury to his face.
“There is no place in our society for those so willing to carry out violence and I am pleased we have been able to put him behind bars.
“I hope this sentence will help the victim move forward.
“Violence often goes hand in hand with the sale of drugs and we continue to work hard to tackle the issue.
“Our Operation Raptor teams are prolific in tackling drug gangs, while our new Disruptor teams are working hard to bring those responsible for violent and drug crime to justice.”