Stefan Appleton trial: Teen Blaise Lewinson jailed for life
The teenager who fatally stabbed Stefan Appleton with a “zombie killer” machete has been jailed for life – and can be named for the first time as Blaise Lewinson.
Lewinson, 17, was sentenced today at the Old Bailey after Judge Richard Hone had lifted an order preventing him from being named.
Judge Hone said: “There is, because of the nature of the weapon, a public interest in deterrence. It is important that individuals who commit top of the range offences should be named.”
Lewinson was found guilty of the manslaughter of Stefan, 18, on April 1. He must serve a minimum nine years of his sentence.
Stefan was killed with a machete in Nightingale Park, off Nightingale Road, on June 10 last year – just yards from where children were playing.
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Lewinson arrived on a stolen scooter and attacked the group Stefan was in. Stefan tried to run away but tripped and was stabbed twice as he lay on the ground, the court heard.
Stefan collapsed in nearby Caldy Walk. Medics battled to save him but he died two hours later. The Marquess Estate was flooded with tributes to the college student, who lived in New North Road.
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Lewinson and his co-defendant were cleared of Stefan’s murder by a jury while a third boy was cleared of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm.
Sentencing Lewinson, judge Hone said his crime was “close to murder” and it was one of the rare occasions when life in prison was justified.
He said: “You have been assessed, correctly, as posing a high risk of violent and psychological harm to your peers and a high risk of re-offending.”
He added: “The risk by anyone prepared to do what you did that day is fully evident.”
Lewinson, at the time of Stefan’s killing, had recently completed a knife crime prevention programme after being caught with a knife in December 2014.
Judge Hone said his actions after the killing, including organising to burn the moped and clothing, were “cunning and careful”. Lewinson also fled to Bristol to see family and his attempt to fly to Malaga was halted only by a lack of funds.
Judge Hone told Lewinson, who has fought with other inmates at Feltham and thrown liquid at prison guards: “You have shown no true remorse.”
Lewinson was handed a life term of 18 years, of which he will serve a minimum of nine years before the possibility of being released on licence.
In the wake of the killing, Stefan’s family set up a campaign calling on then-Mayor Boris Johnson to address issues such as education and monitoring that were associated with knife crime. Three teenagers, including Stefan, were stabbed to death in Islington last year.
A “drop the knife, think about your life” petition garnered more than 1,200 signatures.