16-year-old stabbed at Brighton squat party

The Argus: The building in Freehold Terrace, Brighton, where the stabbing occured during a party The building in Freehold Terrace, Brighton, where the stabbing occured during a party

A 16-year-old is accused of trying to stab another teenager to death during a rave at a squat.

He was charged with attempted murder after the youth suffered a punctured lung early on Sunday morning (December 2).

It is understood many of the revellers inside the disused building in Freehold Terrace, Brighton, were young teenagers.

People living in the street have complained to police about noise and anti-social behaviour since squatters moved into the former workshop about ten days ago.

Late on Saturday night (December 1), music, including hip hop and dubstep, began playing at the site and groups of young people arrived.

At about 2.30am an ambulance was called to treat a 16-year-old boy outside. It is believed he had been stabbed four times with a knife.

He was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in a serious condition and was still being treated yesterday (December 4).

Two youths, both aged 16, were arrested between Sunday night and Monday morning.

One was charged with attempted murder and appeared at Brighton Youth Court yesterday.

He spoke only to confirm his name and age and was remanded in custody until December 11.

The second suspect was released on bail while the police investigation continues.

Locked up

It is understood the site’s owners have now secured the building.

Though the gates were locked yesterday and some windows boarded up, broken panes were visible and the forecourt was scattered with glass and beer crates.

About five adults were said to have been living in the squat last week, but several of the people present at the time of the wounding were believed to have been under 16.

Patrick Benna, 31, whose girlfriend lives in Freehold Terrace, said he had seen drunk people going to the squat in the evenings during the week.

He said: “This weekend I saw lots of people going in.

“The music started at eleven or twelve.

“I heard windows smashing. There was lots of glass on the road this weekend.”

Fire death

The police investigation comes just days after the death of a man in a fire in a boarded up squat in St George’s Terrace, Kemp Town, last Wednesday.

The dead man’s identity has not been released, but he is said to have been 40 or 41. His next of kin have not yet been informed.

A post-mortem was inconclusive and toxicology tests are being carried out to establish whether he had drugs or alcohol in his system.

A 48-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of arson and released on bail without charge until January 14.

Mike Weatherley, Conservative MP for Hove, supported the recent criminalisation of squatting in residential properties and has called for the ban to be extended to commercial buildings.

After Sunday’s stabbing, he said: “I was upset to hear about this incident of extreme violence in a squat, which follows the sad recent case of a death in another.

“I can’t emphasise enough just how dangerous these buildings can be.”

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