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Man jailed for 2002 racially aggravated attack on teens

SENTENCED: Alan Thompson

AFTER COMMITTING an unprovoked racially aggravated attack on two teenagers over 10 years ago in Romford, Essex, a man has finally been jailed.

Alan Thompson, who had evaded police for over a decade, was sentenced on December 18 at Southend Crown Court to 11 years imprisonment for grievous bodily harm and four-and-a-half years imprisonment for violent disorder, to run concurrently, following an the attack on two teenagers on April 23, 2002 in Romford town centre.

The 43-year-old was the seventh and final defendant in relation to the case and was found guilty on October 24.

The court heard how victims Darren Bagalo and Farman Khan, who were 17-years-old at the time of the attack, had been out walking in Romford town centre following a night bowling with family and friends, when set upon by a group of men.

They were repeatedly punched kicked and stabbed during a sustained attack. The suspects then fled the scene.

They were later identified on CCTV footage by police, making Nazi gestures and salutes towards other passers-by moments before the attack, which was also recorded on cameras.

Bagalo and Khan were taken to hospital with serious stab wounds for which they underwent surgery.

Bagalo was the most seriously injured of the two, having received stab wounds to the abdomen and torso and being kicked to the head.

Khan had been stabbed in the arm. Both received months of medical attention and have now made a full recovery.

Back in 2003, six men appeared in court and were sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from 1.5 years to 7.5 years.

Bagalo, now 27, said: "After almost 11 years of a hard, painful, stressful life it is finally over. I can remember when I received the call when the police force told me they had arrested Alan Thompson & that he had been put away for a long time I felt huge relief.

“I cannot thank the Metropolitan police enough for all their hard work to finally put this case to bed. So many officers have dedicated their life to the case & for that I am truly grateful and I wish I could do so much more for you all."

He added: “I can now finally move on with my life and start living a happy life and get back on track to the man I used to be.”

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