By Staff Reporter
TAFADZWA Katsande, a Zimbabwean man based in the United Kingdom (UK), has been sentenced to 17 years imprisonment after he, and his gang used machetes to attack a driver.
Another gang member, a 16-year-old was locked up for 10 years after they stabbed Marcus Quashie with machetes as he sat in the driver’s seat of a car.
Joe Garbutt, 19, was locked up for five years after ramming the youth with another car.
According to an online website, Leeds Crown Court heard the 23-year-old victim only survived due to quick medical intervention and his injuries, including a fractured spine, have changed his life.
Sentencing, Judge Simon Phillips QC told Katsande and the youth: “You both set about a frenzied and sustained attack on Marcus Quashie who was unable to escape or resist.
“It was a scene of brutal carnage.”
Prosecutor John Elvidge QC said a number of phone calls were made between a member of Katsande’s gang and Garbutt on April 28 last year.
Minutes later, Katsande and three others went to meet Garbutt at the junction of Smith’s Avenue and Carr Street in Marsh while armed with machetes.
Garbutt drove a Seat Ibiza at around 20mph towards the 16-year-old as he stood on Smith’s Avenue.
The car mounted the pavement and hit him, causing head injuries, before driving further along the street.
Jurors were shown CCTV footage of Katsande, who the court heard ‘saw red’, going over to Garbutt’s associate Quashie who was sitting in a Citroën on the street.
The court heard Katsande launched a ‘ferocious’ attack on Quashie, thrusting his machete at least 10 times through the driver’s window which had been smashed.
The 16-year-old got up and tried to stab Quashie through the passenger’s window, but he could not reach.
He took Katsande’s place at the driver’s window and thrust his machete through the window around 20 times.
Elvidge said Katsande jumped up and down in excitement as the teenager successfully stabbed the victim.
Quashie’s attackers fled the scene with their weapons and he drove several feet up the street to his home before collapsing.
Garbutt returned to the scene and told Quashie’s family that he had been injured before lifting an item from the middle of the road and leaving the scene.
Katsande also attempted to hide forensic evidence and the teenager discarded his blood-stained clothes close to his mother’s house.
The victim suffered 19 stab wounds, including to his neck, chest, stomach, back, right arm and lung, and fractures to his spine.
An artery in his right arm was severed and he lost so much blood that he went into hypovolemic shock.
In a statement read to the court, the victim said: “I honestly thought my time was up and I was going to die.”
He spent a week in intensive care and had to undergo multiple surgeries.
He said he now only leaves the house to attend hospital appointments and court and relies heavily on his family.
The judge rejected claims that Katsande and others had been shot at from the Citroën earlier that day and that Katsande feared Quashie was armed with a gun.
Garbutt was disqualified from driving for 52 months.
A jury unanimously found the men guilty after a trial last month.
Katsande , whose family moved to Birchtree Close in Wakefield after the offences, and the 16-year-old, of Huddersfield, were convicted of attempted murder.
Garbutt, previously of Field Lane in Batley, was convicted of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.
He has previous convictions, including for criminal damage, causing a person harassment, alarm or distress and battery.
A second 16-year-old, of Milnsbridge, was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and sentenced to six years and eight months in detention after the court heard he thrust a machete at the victim towards the end of the incident.
The court heard a machete was found in a car after the two youths, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were involved in a police chase in a separate incident.
Katsande pleaded guilty to having an article with a blade or a point in relation to a separate incident in which he was caught wearing surgical gloves and in possession of a dagger and a face mask in Netherton on November 15 last year.
The court heard Katsande, who had no convictions before the stabbing, lived a double life.
Simon Kealey QC, mitigating for Katsande, said his client is intelligent, has qualifications, had an apprenticeship at a law firm where he was a well-regarded volunteer and was involved in music at his local church.
He said he recently became a father and has shown empathy for his victim and remorse.