Friday, 23 August 2013

Nepalese man Hitendra Limbu jailed for khukuri knife attack on teenagers in Ashford town centre

Hitendra Limbu admitted a knife attack in Ashford

A Nepalese man who carried out a bloody attack with a nine-inch khukuri knife during a drunken brawl has today been jailed for seven years.

Hitendru Limbu, 21, admitted two charges relating to the fight in Ashford town centre that left two teenagers with serious injuries in April.

Limbu, of Quantock Drive, Ashford, was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court today.

The incident left Iceland worker Charlie Carolan, 19, with a huge gash through the cartilage in his nose - as well as cuts to his arm, chest and back.

His friend Ashley Curtis, 18, suffered a serious injury to his thumb, which required reconstructive surgery. Limbu was sentenced to seven years for causing grievous bodily harm with intent and two years for wounding with intent - the sentences will run concurrently. He admitted both charges.

A third charge of being in possession of an offensive weapon – a 24cm khukuri knife, which is a traditional weapon of the Nepalese Gurkha soldiers – was left on the court file.

However, Judge Adele Williams made an order for the knife to be destroyed.

She said: "Those who deliberately arm themselves with knives and cause serious injuries to others can expect nothing but a lengthy sentence.

"You got into a verbal and physical confrontation with Charlie Carolan and you and he had to be separated.

"I sentence you on your basis of plea that you were struck by him but what you did next was very serious indeed."

With his face covered in blood, Hitendra Limbu is pictured in a police image after being arrested

Charlie Carolan was badly injured in a knife attack

Limbu had been out drinking with a male Nepalese friend and two female Polish friends, all work colleagues from SBE, to celebrate one of their birthdays.

While the victims had been part of a group of 10 friends, who had been a bar crawl, also to mark a friend's birthday.

Both groups had gone to Liquid and Envy nightclub in East Hill before the fight started outside a kebab shop in the High Street at about 2.30am on Tuesday, April 16.

Trevor Wright, prosecuting, said: "They saw two girls of European appearance and in the statement of Ashley Curtis - there's some suggestion that the girls had been hassled by the two Nepalese gentlemen.

"You may think that in the circumstances where they worked together and went out together, that's not exactly right."

Scene of the stabbing in Bank Street, Ashford

After an initial fight over a four-letter rant, both groups walked off in opposite directions.

CCTV footage showed Limbu return to the High Street with a khuukri knife.

His friend - Som Gurung - was seen on the CCTV trying to stop him from going back to confront them.

Around 10 minutes later, the two Nepalese men came running towards them.

Ashley Curtis described how Mr Limbu was shouting and he was enticing Mr Carolan towards him.

"It looked like they were having a fight," he said. "They were grabbing each other, holding each other and throwing each other around."

Mr Carolan suffered a long cut from the bridge of the nose to the lip, which split through the septum of his nose.

Forensic officers in Ashford town centre after the stabbing

Simon Taylor, defending, said: "The defence would assert that he was attacked first.

"All that Mr Limbu wished me to say was that he was violently attacked by a group of men for no good reason.

"He is a 21-year-old man, being in the UK for two years, a relative newcomer to this country.

"He felt a little bit humiliated by what had happened and armed himself.

"He is a strong member of his community and he feels strongly how much he has let his family and his community down.

"He is a very young man with a good degree of naivety because he was relatively new in this country."



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