Anglia Ruskin law student handed suspended sentence after threatening fellow undergrad with kitchen knife in row over cooking pot

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By Thomas Connelly on

Pair separated by a student accommodation caretaker after fight broke out

An Anglia Ruskin University law student’s chances of becoming a lawyer now hang in the balance after she was sentenced for brandishing a kitchen knife and saucepan during a heated argument with another student, which reportedly began with a dispute over a cooking pot.

Second-year law student Obile Sampson-Ichendu, 19, is said to have chased fellow undergrad Cynthia Uche, 20, while wielding an eight-inch kitchen knife and saucepan during an altercation on 28 March, according Cambridge News.

Cambridge Crown Court reportedly heard how Uche, accompanied by two friends, gained access to Sampson-Ichendu’s halls of residence at around 9.45pm after telling the building’s caretaker she was locked out of her own accommodation. This, according to the report, was a lie. Having entered the building, Uche is then said to have rushed into Sampson-Ichendu’s flat and locked the door behind her.

Prosecutor Diane Mundill told the court that the caretaker described hearing “all hell break loose” as the two students wrestled with each other on the floor. The caretaker — using a masterkey to access Sampson-Ichendu’s flat — broke them apart and escorted Uche and her two friends from the building.

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Unfortunately, the incident didn’t end there. Mundill continued:

“The caretaker then saw Sampson-Ichendu run towards him brandishing a saucepan and a kitchen knife. She was shouting threats towards Uche.”

The court heard how the caretaker grabbed Sampson-Ichendu and forced her arm carrying the knife against the wall. Sampson-Ichendu was escorted back to her flat only to reappear moments later brandishing the same sharp weapon. “She was still angry, and kept lunging with the knife and making a stabbing motion towards Miss Uche,” the report states. The caretaker intervened again and eventually disarmed Sampson-Ichend.

Vaneeta Sharma, representing Sampson-Ichendu, said her client “was in the second year of her law degree but due to this incident has now been suspended and is considering continuing her studies at a different university”. A spokesperson from Anglia Ruskin told Legal Cheek: “The individual concerned was suspended when we learnt about the incident and is no longer a student with us.”

Sharma continued that her client had accepted her behaviour had gone “over and beyond” what was acceptable, and said:

“My client also suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after this incident. She was also suffering with anxiety and depression at the time, which exacerbated her reaction to the incident itself.”

Sampson-Ichendu, who has no previous convictions, admitted threatening Uche and possessing a knife in a public place during a hearing last month. Returning for sentencing last week, the law student was handed a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. Sampson-Ichendu was given a curfew for two months, was ordered to pay £425 in court costs, and to carry out a ten-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Judge Jonathan Cooper said:

“You took the knife plainly in the heat of the moment, but as part of an ongoing altercation and that is unacceptable in any circumstances. You were and continue to be a promising student and a conviction for these two serious offences will have an impact on you.”

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