It started as an argument between two Nigerian students over who had the richest father.
Elvis Ilonze, studying Masters of Engineering degree at the University of Sussex attacked his childhood friend Prince Nnaji in the flat they co-habit in Brighton, East Sussex, UK after the latter had insisted that he had the richest father.
According to news site Daily Mail, Nnaji tried to escape the scene, but Ilonze’s friend Daniel Oluyemi followed him and beat him with a wine bottle.
More about this
The victim’s girlfriend, Louanna Rayawa attempted to intervene but was pushed to the ground by Ilonze. The incident took place in April last year.
A 23-year-old law student Chiedozie Dibiagwu, who witnessed the incident was also assaulted by the two.
Ilonze, 20, and 24-year-old Oluyemi on Monday pleaded guilty to two counts of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.
They were, however, spared jail by the presiding judge, Christine Laing, who suspended a one-year custodial sentence for 18 months to give them “one last chance”.
“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 said.
Ilonze’s lawyer, Tom Hoskins had argued that his client faces deportation if he were given a sentence of more than one year in custody.
Oluyemi, studying accounting at the same Sussex university, is expecting a child in five months, and so should be at home to prepare towards the moment, his lawyer Johnathan Page argued.
The judge in sparing them said that the two, though immature, have much to contribute to society.