A TEENAGER who fell over while running away from a pair of knife-wielding thugs was stabbed in the stomach while lying helpless on the floor.

The 17-year-old boy was trying to escape from two men when tripped over a kerb near the entrance to The Beacon shopping centre in Eastbourne.

Ashley Roberts-Araujo,19, and Inno Makolo, 21, attacked the youngster, who required emergency surgery and has been left with life-changing injuries.

The pair admitted wounding with intent and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place and were each sentenced to six years behind bars.

Speaking after the case, investigating officer, Detective Constable Jo Lane, said: "This was a vicious attack that has left a teenager traumatised and with life-changing injuries.

“I’d like to thank everyone who supported our investigation, and the members of the public who administered vital first aid to the victim at the scene."

The victim had been with friends in the town centre on Saturday 10 April, when they were involved in a verbal altercation with two men.

Although they left the scene, the boy was attacked after encountering the two men again later that evening.

He was flown by air ambulance to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton where he underwent emergency surgery.

The men fled the scene, disposing of a bloodied knife in a bush as they ran in the direction of Hyde Gardens.

Police later recovered this weapon which was found to have their DNA on it.

Officers also recovered CCTV of the men buying the knife.

Makolo and Roberts-Araujo were both arrested, charged and later pleaded guilty at court.

Det Con Lane added: “Thanks to a swift response by officers and detailed witness testimonials, we were able to gather strong evidence which led to guilty pleas in court."

"Makolo and Roberts-Araujo were only visiting Eastbourne for a short period of time, yet chose to engage in serious violence while they were here.

"This will not be tolerated in our community and I'm pleased to see these two dangerous offenders sentenced for their actions."

Both men appeared for sentencing at Lewes Crown Court on Monday.

Makolo, unemployed, of Chatsworth Road, Hackney, was sentenced to six years detention in a young offenders institution.

While Roberts-Araujo, a scaffolder, of Sutton Way, Kensington, was also sentenced to six years imprisonment.

Both were also given sentences of six months, to run concurrently with the six-year sentences, for possession of offensive weapons.

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