Notting Hill Carnival’s existence under threat from knife crime, judge warns

Notting Hill Carnival’s “very existence” is under threat because of knife crime, a judge has warned.

Judge Angela Morris spoke out as she jailed two men for knife attacks on three schoolboys on children’s day at the 2016 event.

Jordan Clarke, 20, armed himself with a fearsome ‘zombie’ knife while accomplice Eddy Mombele, 24, brandished a flick knife in the spree of violence.

Seeking revenge for an attack on a friend, the two men were seen weaving through the carnival crowd looking for potential victims. 

Mombele and Clarke first stabbed a 15 year-old boy in the arm and buttock before knifing two boys aged 15 and 16 in the belly and the leg.

Jordan Clarke (L), 20, and Eddy Mombele, 24 were jailed for knife attacks on schoolboys at children’s day at the 2016 event

Jailing them yesterday for 15 years each, the judge said: “I am told that the effects of knife crime at the Notting Hill Carnival have caused serious concerns for the police and called into question its very future.”

She continued: “The three victims were amongst the many thousands of people who attended the carnival to soak up the atmosphere and have an enjoyable day.

“Sadly, events turned sour during the course of that afternoon when four people were stabbed, requiring degrees of medical assistance including hospitalisation.

“People like you who chose to attend the event carrying knives and ready for trouble not only run the risk of causing serious injury or death to others but also of destroying the very existence of the carnival itself.”

When police arrested Clarke after the stabbings, they found the knife he had used in a rucksack at his home. Zombie knives had been banned from sale just 12 days before the incident on 28 August 2016.

The court heard violence first broke out at around 4.25pm when two groups clashed in an alleyway in Ladbroke Grove, leaving one of Clarke and Mombele’s friends injured. 

Twelve minutes later they attacked the first 15-year-old, asking him if he was with the rival group and when he hesitated they took turns stabbing him.

CCTV caught Clarke, who has a distinctive scar over his left eye, with a scarf over part of his face as they went after the second and third victims.

He and Mombele were both identified by the first victim from his hospital bed, from pictures that were later uploaded to Instagram.

Clarke, from Chelsea, refused to give evidence at his Old Bailey trial and hid under his bed in prison yesterday so he could not be brought to court for sentencing. 

Mombele, who lives in Notting Hill, also denied the attack, blaming it on his co-defendant. 

But both men were found guilty by a jury of three counts of wounding with intent and possession of an offensive weapon.

Detective Inspector Driss Hayoukane, of the Met’s Notting Hill Post-Investigation Team, said: “Sunday at Notting Hill Carnival is traditionally Children’s Day – a happy event to be enjoyed by thousands of children and their families.

“However, these two men came to Carnival armed with a ‘zombie’ knife and a flick knife, intent on seriously injuring innocent Carnival goers.”


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