A teenage killer who murdered a university student during a stabbing rampage outside a rap gig, then later boasted about the killing in a video online, has been jailed for life.
Vasilios Ofogeli, 17, was found guilty of the murder of Andre Bent, 21, the cousin of S Club 7 singer Bradley McIntosh. Andre was killed on the day his fiancée found out she was pregnant.
Ofogeli used a hunting knife to stab Andre and three others when violence broke out after a MoStack concert in Maidstone, Kent, in August last year.
As he appeared to be sentenced at the Old Bailey, it emerged that Andre’s fiancée Maria saw a drill rap video on Snapchat in which Ofogeli bragged that one person had been killed but ‘it should have been more’, the Old Bailey heard.
A search of his cell uncovered five pages of lyrics, one of which said: ‘Should have seen the look on jury’s face when they played that video where I cheffed (stabbed) four in a day.’
Sentencing him to detention for life with a minimum term of 20 years, Mrs Justice Cutts said posting the video on social media was an ‘unkind and wicked thing to do’.
Following Andre’s death, S Club 7 star Bradley called for a minute’s silence when he performed on stage at the Sunshine Festival in Worcestershire.
Reporting restrictions on Ofogeli’s name were lifted after he was found guilty of murder at Maidstone Crown Court. He was also convicted of two counts of attempted murder, wounding with intent and violent disorder.
On the night of the murder at The Gallery Nightclub in Maidstone on August 25, Ofogeli, along with eight others, had been drinking with up-and-coming Grime artist MoStack – real name Montell Daley – the court heard.
When a fight started after MoStack’s gig, Ofogeli, of north London, grabbed a large hunter’s knife from a car and stabbed four men, including business student Andre.
CCTV footage showed people who had left the club punching, kicking and hitting each other with belts.
Ofogeli was identified from mobile phone video and CCTV, but he had fled to Athens hours after the murder. Police arrested him at Stansted when he returned to the UK on August 31 last year. Detectives had traced him through rap videos he had posted online.
The judge told the teenage killer today: ‘Mr Bent had his entire life in front of him, a life that you took.
‘The devastating impact on Mr Bent’s family cannot be overstated.’
In a victim impact statement, mother Monica McIntosh said her youngest child was the ‘light of my life’. He loved music, gardening and dancing around the house, she added: ‘Andre loved to cuddle and he was a happy soul.’
He struggled in his early life but was on course to get a first class degree from London South Bank University in business and finance, she said.
Addressing his killer, Monica said: ‘You snuffed out my son’s life and you have left devastation behind.’
Michael Clark, Andre’s father, said: ‘We are literally traumatised. The way he was murdered will always leave a scar in my heart.
‘It will mean I have nightmares for the rest of my life. Andre’s death is all over social media and all this has done is add kudos points to the killer.
‘I am thankful he was caught. All I know is there is one less killer on the streets and other families are now safer.’
Following the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Patrick Milford said: ‘Andre Bent was a popular and much-loved young man with his whole life ahead of him, but his future was cut short by Vasilios Ofogeli in the worst way imaginable.
‘Ofogeli and his friends had travelled to Maidstone from their home in London and brought with them a level of violence that we simply do not tolerate here in Kent.
‘There is no excuse for anyone to go out while armed with a knife or to cause such serious harm to others, and we relentlessly pursue those who do to ensure they are brought to justice.
‘This was a fast-paced investigation that demonstrates our commitment to ensuring justice for Andre’s family most importantly, but also for the people of Maidstone who were shocked and appalled by what happened that night.
‘Thankfully such incidents are rare and our officers work hard on a daily basis to ensure it stays that way.
‘The callous and random nature of the knife attacks committed by Ofogeli on Andre and three other men are deeply troubling and paint a picture of a young man who thinks nothing of attacking others with a deadly weapon.
‘He is fully deserving of the lengthy prison sentence he will now have to serve.’