Boy, 17, jailed for street stabbing attack on Portsmouth student

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A TEENAGE boy repeatedly stabbed a university student who intervened to stop the 16-year-old acting ‘aggressively’ to a girl.

Travis Martin, now 17, attacked the 22-year-old at night in Sedgley Close, Somers Town, plunging a blade into the victim four times.

Travis Martin''Travis Martin, 17, detained for four years after stabbing a Portsmouth student in an attack of the 'utmost severity' in Sedgley Close, Somers Town, Portsmouth

Travis Martin''Travis Martin, 17, detained for four years after stabbing a Portsmouth student in an attack of the 'utmost severity' in Sedgley Close, Somers Town, Portsmouth

The Master’s degree student ‘felt what he thought at the time were punches’ and slumped to the ground in the attack – putting his hand to his neck and finding it covered in blood.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard he was permanently scarred after suffering four 2-3cm wounds, one on his right thigh, two on his right shoulder and one on the back of his neck.

The blade nicked an artery, another lacerated his lung and the wound to his leg was 8cm deep – cutting down to the bone.

Jailing Martin for four years, judge Timothy Mousley QC said: ‘The harm which you cased was serious in the context of this offence, wounding with intent.

Police at the scene of the stabbing in Sedgley Close, Southsea

Police at the scene of the stabbing in Sedgley Close, Southsea

‘I’m satisfied that what you were intending to do, and what you did, was to render (the victim) harmless on the ground, regardless of how much force was needed to do that.’

Martin, a serving prisoner, was handed four years’ detention on top of his current four-year sentence.

Addressing Martin, who was 16 at the time of the attack, the judge added: ‘Despite your age, your offence is so serious that nothing but a substantial custodial sentence could be justified.’

The judge lifted a reporting restriction banning the naming of Martin after an application from The News, adding the attack was of the ‘utmost severity’.

The crime scene at Sedgley Close in Somers Town

The crime scene at Sedgley Close in Somers Town

Shawn Griffiths, 19, was jailed for three months after admitting threatening behaviour by shouting threatening words at the victim before he was stabbed.

Griffiths shouted ‘something aggressive towards’ the victim, adding ‘to the tension that was in the air already,’ the judge added.

Both teenagers had been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder – but were never charged with the offence.

Daniel Sawyer, prosecutor, said no weapon was recovered from the attack in October 14 last year.

Travis Martin

Travis Martin

A witness told Martin to ‘just leave it’ after the student said something to the boy.

The victim, who had been walking near the Somers Town Hub, said: ‘I feel scared and apprehensive at times if I’m out at night.’

He had to take time out from his studies and return home before he was able to resume at the University of Portsmouth.

‘I have permanent scarring on my leg, back and neck where I was stabbed,’ he said in his victim statement.

Martin, formerly of Cottage Grove, Southsea, admitted wounding with intent after initially denying the attack.

Mitigating, Edward Hollingsworth said he was remorseful and prior to this ‘there’s very little to suggest he is someone who represents a risk of violence’.

He added Martin ‘thought perhaps, as a result of youth and naivety, the best way to ensure his own safety was to carry a knife’.

Tom Horder, for Griffiths, said his ‘life was drifting’ and he was mixing with a bad crowd but now Griffths, of Greetham Street, Southsea, has a fencing job.

Judge: Why Martin received the sentence he did ...

THE judge sentencing Travis Martin detailed why the boy received four years’ detention.

Judge Timothy Mousley QC said had Martin been an adult, he would have started with a sentencing range of between nine and 16 years.

He would have then increased that due to the attack happening at night, Martin being under the influence of alcohol and the offence for which he was serving jail time.

But he said youth sentencing guidelines said children should received half or two- thirds of an adult term.

Had Martin been convicted after a trial he would have received six years, the judge said.

Instead, the judge cut that to 57 months – a 15 per cent reduction as he pleaded guilty late but before his trial.

He then took into account the four-year term Martin was already serving, and reduced the new term to four years consecutive so the total jail time would not be too long.

Police in Portsmouth welcomed the sentencing on Tuesday.

Inspector Marcus Cator said: ‘This was a violent attack against a university student who intervened with good intent when he saw a 16-year-old boy being aggressive towards a girl.

‘This sentence of the now 17-year-old Travis Martin sends a clear message that violence and particularly knife crime, will not be tolerated in Portsmouth, regardless of the offender’s age.’