Upper Street axe feud was fight between rival gangs
07:00 28 August 2014
PA Wire/Press Association Images
An axe fight that left a teenager’s hand hanging from his wrist, was a spat between members of two rival gangs, a court was told.
"Ashley was cowering and being repeatedly struck with an axe. Were it not for him raising his hand, it would have been buried in his head."
Ashley Fagan, 18, a former London rioter, sustained his injuries protecting his head from potentially lethal blows during a fight with another young man during rush hour in Upper Street – opposite Islington Town Hall.
Fagan, who pleaded guilty to affray and possession of a lock knife for his part in the brawl in March, had said that he was no longer involved with gangs after being arrested for possession of a weapon in 2011.
But in his latest appearance at Blackfriars Crown Court last week, the prosecution told the judge that police were confident the fight was gang-related.
“Trident officers have intelligence that they were both in gangs. They can’t say which gangs as they do not want it in the public domain,” said prosecutor Chris Moll.
He said that Fagan, whose arm remains in plaster, had been walking along Upper Street with his girlfriend when he spotted two other men.
Witnesses say he shouted “hey you” at them.
“They started fist fighting in the street and it turned into a one-on-one,” said Mr Moll.
“The other man pulled out an axe and attacked Ashley. He put his arm up to protect his head and the axe struck his left arm.”
Mr Moll said that another witness saw Fagan, of Dawlish Road, Tottenham, throw a knife under a car as he fled covered in his own blood.
He said that police believed another man, who turned up in hospital with stab wounds, was the axe attacker – but the case has been discontinued against the suspect as neither he nor Fagan had co-operated with police.
Karim Ezzat, defending, said: “Ashley was cowering and being repeatedly struck with an axe. Were it not for him raising his hand, it would have been buried in his head.
“He has been stabbed on a number of occasions and was carrying a blade to protect himself.
“He accepts that in 2011 he was involved in gangs but after his conviction when he was 15 years old he moved himself away from his peers where he was offending.”
Recorder Anesta Weekes QC adjourned Fagan’s sentencing until Tuesday for a more detailed pre-sentence report, but warned he could face a prison sentence – despite already spending 21 weeks in custody.