TWO schoolboy brothers have been jailed for five years after being convicted of stabbing two teenagers in a "vicious and unprovoked" attack in the Whitgift Centre in January.
Recorder Judge Kenneth Hamer said they had committed a "serious and wicked act" and gave each of the boys the sentence at Croydon Crown Court today.
The Advertiser can name the brothers as Mohammed and Abdul Walker, aged 16 and 14 respectively, after Judge Hamer lifted reporting restrictions banning their identification.
Judge Hamer also said Abdul appeared to be a member of Croydon gang, though that was denied by the boys' defence.
The brothers, of Cordrey Gardens, Coulsdon, who were 15 and 14 at the time of the attack, were found guilty unanimously by a jury at the same court last month of two counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and one of violent disorder.
Judge Hamer said: "You were part of a gang of five youths, each armed with a knife. You took part in a vicious and unprovoked attack and stabbing of two other youths who were innocent persons in the Whitgift Centre.
"Both victims suffered really serious injuries, the condition of one of them being described by London Ambulance Service as a stab wound to the lower back, which they treated as life-threatening."
The Walkers, who lived with their mother in New Addington at the time of the attack, would serve an additional two years on licence after their time in custody, he said.
"The Whitgift Centre is a large shopping complex filled with hundreds of shoppers, and your actions, carrying knives in a public place and using them, was a serious and wicked act"
"The courts have repeatedly said that such persons should expect serious punishment, no ifs, no buts.
"This offence simply fortifies my view that each of you pose a very real danger of committing serious harm to members of the public by the commission of further serious offences."
The boys attacked Glodi Mobwano, then 17, and his 16-year-old friend, at the shopping centre in Croydon town centre on January 14.
Glodi, now 18, suffered a punctured kidney after being stabbed in the back and his friend, for whom reporting restrictions remain in place, was slashed across the face and knifed in the arm.
Glodi spent four days in hospital recovering after the attack, which took place shortly before 6pm outside sports nutrition store GNC, on the second level of the centre.
The brothers were convicted under the joint enterprise law, which meant they could both be charged with the same offence, even though the prosecution could not show they were the ones who stabbed the boys.
During the trial, the prosecution argued the boys had been "in it together", along with three others who have not been caught.
Judge Hamer said the jury had unanimously agreed both brothers were at the scene of the attack, which was backed up by CCTV evidence, and the gang of five had all been in possession of knives.
The jury were not, however, told that both the brothers had knives in their room when police investigated the incident, since the weapons could not be linked to the attack.
The younger of the two brothers, Abdul, was also sentenced, though not given an additional punishment, for intimidating a witness in February, while he was on bail for the attack.
At an earlier trial, he was found guilty of sending threatening Facebook messages, to a youngster who was the victim of a violent robbery, calling him a "police snitch".
Fearing for his life, the youngster asked to be moved from his sheltered accommodation in Croydon to outside of London, the court heard.
Counsel for the boys denied they were involved in gang activity.
John-Paul McNamara said his client, Abdul, had been affected by "peer influence, immaturity and impulsivity". He also argued the injuries to the victims had not been "life threatening."
Giles Newell, for Mohammed, said he had received excellent reports from teachers in school, and was "on course for grades A-C in his GCSEs".