Two men have been jailed after four people were slashed and stabbed with a machete in a horrific attack in Selby.
Police were called to reports of a violent disturbance on Micklegate at 2.35am on 5 August 2018. Officers attended and found a man with a slash wound across his left ear and a left shoulder. He was being tended to by a friend who had suffered a cut to his chest.
Two other men were found 200 metres away, having fled for their lives. One had a large slash wound to his chest and a deep laceration down to the bone on his right bicep. The other had a deep laceration to his right wrist, causing tendon damage.
All the victims were taken to hospital by ambulance.
Witnesses described one of the attackers “running around, swinging it [the machete] like a lightsabre in Star Wars” and “like something from a film”.
Officers at the scene established that the suspects had left in a black Audi. The car was spotted by police at 3.40am, heading out of Selby towards the A1. It failed to stop, and was pursued by officers. The car drove dangerously, before crashing into a silver VW Golf taxi on a roundabout in Glasshoughton, West Yorkshire.
Shekquarn Fitzgerald was arrested sitting in the front passenger seat, and Benjamin Wilson was arrested a short distance away, having run from the car. Checks revealed the Audi had false plates, and had been stolen from Birmingham in July 2018.
The incident was captured on CCTV, which showed a fight involving Wilson, and then Fitzgerald retrieving a machete from the Audi before joining in and inflicting the injuries. Witnesses later identified both Fitzgerald and Wilson in an ID parade.
A member of the public located a machete discarded in a bin in Selby, and forensic enquiries located DNA of the suspects on its handle and three of the victims on its blade.
Following an investigation by detectives and police investigators at York CID, Fitzgerald, 19, was charged with four counts of wounding with intent. Wilson, 24, was charged with dangerous driving and handling stolen goods. Both men were charged with having a machete in a public place. They pleaded guilty at York Crown Court in December 2019.
On 23 January 2020, at York Crown Court, Fitzgerald was jailed for ten years plus a three-year extended parole, and Wilson for two years. Wilson was also banned from driving for four years and ordered to take an extended driving test.
A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said: “Violent incidents of this nature are extremely rare in North Yorkshire, and the investigation and subsequent court case show that they will simply not be tolerated.
“The investigation received excellent support from local business owners who provided crucial CCTV evidence, the vigilant member of the public who came forward when they found the discarded machete in their bin and the witnesses who helped identify those responsible.
“We would also like to thank the brave victims in this case. The incident has, understandably, had a significant impact on them, and we wish them well in their ongoing recovery.”