Two rich Nigerian students, Elvis Ilonze, 20, and Daniel Oluyemi who used a shisha pipe to batter a fellow student during an argument over who has the richer father have received a suspended sentence.
Elvis Ilonze attacked his childhood friend, Prince Nnaji in their shared flat at Brighton, East Sussex on April 7, 2017 in a bid to teach him a lesson after Naji suggested he had a richer father.
Mr Nnaji tried to escape from the flat but Ilonze, along with his friend Daniel Oluyemi chased after him and beat him with a wine bottle.
While inside the flat Louanna Rayawa, Mr Nnaji‘s girlfriend, tried to stop the attack but was pushed to the ground by Elvis Ilonze.
The pair also assaulted law student Chiedozie Dibiagwu, 23, who was sitting on a chair nearby and witnessed Mr. Nnaji being assaulted.
Ilonze came to the UK to study a four-year Masters of Engineering degree at the University of Sussex, and is one year away from completing his course. While Oluyemi, who is training to become an accountant at the same university, is expecting a child in September or October.
Ilonze and Oluyemi both pleaded guilty to two counts of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm and were spared jail at the Old Bailey.
Ilonze‘s lawyer, Tom Hoskins said that Ilonze faces deportation back to Nigeria if he were given a sentence of more than one year in custody.
Oluyemi‘s lawyer, Johnathan Page, said that the right place for him is at home, preparing for the ‘momentous occasion’ of welcoming a child, not in prison
Judge Christine Laing QC gave them a suspended one-year custodial sentence for 18 months to give them ‘one last chance’.
The judge said:
‘Unlike many of the people who pass through the courts you both come from, effectively, backgrounds of privilege. It couldn’t be more childish, effectively an insult on somebody’s parents – who’s got the richer dad – that started this fight.You both appear to be incredibly immature, perhaps as a result of being cosseted in your upbringing.’
The judge added that the pair of them, though immature, have ‘much to contribute to society’.
Both Ilonze, and Oluyemi thanked the judge for sparing them jail before leaving the Old Bailey dock.