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Gang member Karim Sorhaindo jailed after attacking man in Canterbury

By Paul Hooper

A "highly dangerous" gang member who drove four friends to Canterbury to carry out a revenge knife attack has been jailed for 13 years.

The victim was stabbed five times after drug wars between rival London gangs spilt onto the streets of the Cathedral city.

Matthew Franc was ambushed by four men in South Street, leaving him nursing serious knife wounds and crying out: “I’ve been stabbed in the heart.”

Karim Sorhaindo has been jailed for stabbing a drug gang rival

Karim Sorhaindo has been jailed for stabbing a drug gang rival

But only one man, Karim Sorhaindo, has been prosecuted for the vicious assault.

The 25-year-old had denied the offences, claiming in a letter to the judge that he was just “in the wrong place at the wrong time”.

But a jury saw through his lies, convicting him of wounding with intent and having a knife in public

He has now been locked up for 13 years and ordered to serve an extra four on licence when he is released on parole.

Judge James O’Mahony told him: “You came from London with four others in order to carry out a violent and potentially lethal and deadly attack. This was a revenge attack on someone who had messed you around.

"You are a highly dangerous man and were lucky not to have faced a far more serious charge..." - Judge James O’Mahony 

“This is the worst form of knife violence, which society is so concerned about, and the background to this is all about drugs.”

Prosecutor Simon Taylor had told the jury how at 11.45pm on October 2, 2015, a man was awoken by screaming and shouting as he slept in his bedroom.

Four men were then seen in Sturry Road standing around the victim before driving away. Mr Franc was found bleeding in the street.

Mr Taylor said Mr Franc was asked what had happened by a police officer but claimed he did not know who had attacked him or why.

The victim said he could only remember walking to Asda along the Sturry Road with two friends when a car approached him.

A number of people got out and began hitting him. Mr Franc claimed he could not describe the offenders and refused to give any further information.

He then rejected the chance to give a statement or support a prosecution – and was not called to give evidence at the trial.

He was later treated for wounds to his lungs.

Sorhaindo - who is about to become a dad for a second time - was stopped is a silver Ford Mondeo heading towards London along Rheims Way in Canterbury.

A large blood-stained knife was later discovered in the grounds of the nearby Pilgrims Hospice.

Sorhaindo’s previous convictions include carrying a nine-inch knife in public, having a bottle of ammonia, and attacking a man in a road rage incident.

The judge added: “You are a highly dangerous man and were lucky not to have faced a far more serious charge.”

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