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MURDER UPDATE: Teenage boy jailed for life over Maidstone stabbing

Thursday 21st May 2020

A 17-year-old boy who was found guilty of murder has been jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 20 years.

Vasilios Ofogeli, of Grove House Road in Hornsey, used a machete to kill Andre Bent (21) on a night out in Bank Street, Maidstone, just before 3am Sunday, August 25 2019.

Today, he was jailed for life at London’s Central Criminal Court and must serve a minimum of 20 years before being eligible for parole.

The jury heard how the teen fled to Greece following the incident, but was arrested by detectives who were able to trace his home address from rap videos he had posted online.

CCTV evidence revealed a fight had broke out outside the club, with various people punching, kicking and hitting each other with belts.

Ofogeli was wearing a distinctive hooded top, which he wrapped around his head to conceal his identity moments before the brawl broke out.

A Kent Police spokesman said: "A large amount of mobile phone footage was also posted on social media following the disturbance, and together with CCTV evidence, police were able to establish that Ofogeli was in possession of a machete-style knife that he first used to stab three other men who have all since recovered from their injuries.

"Ofogeli’s final victim was Andre Bent, who was unarmed and suffered a single stab wound to the chest. He was helped to the Urban Blue charity bus where first aid was administered but Andre was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later."

Detectives also discovered the weapon used during a search of a neighbour’s garden.

Ofogeli was found guilty of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of wounding with intent on Tuesday, March 17 2020 following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court.

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Patrick Milford of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: "Andre Bent was a popular and much-loved young man with his whole life ahead of him, but his future was cut short by Vasilios Ofogeli in the worst way imaginable.

"Ofogeli and his friends had travelled to Maidstone from their home in London and brought with them a level of violence that we simply do not tolerate here in Kent. There is no excuse for anyone to go out while armed with a knife or to cause such serious harm to others, and we relentlessly pursue those who do to ensure they are brought to justice.

"This was a fast-paced investigation that demonstrates our commitment to ensuring justice for Andre’s family most importantly, but also for the people of Maidstone who were shocked and appalled by what happened that night. Thankfully such incidents are rare and our officers work hard on a daily basis to ensure it stays that way.

"The callous and random nature of the knife attacks committed by Ofogeli on Andre and three other men are deeply troubling and paint a picture of a young man who thinks nothing of attacking others with a deadly weapon. He is fully deserving of the lengthy prison sentence he will now have to serve."