2:47pm Tuesday 22nd January 2013
By Chris Hewett
A teenager has been charged with attempted murder following a double stabbing in a Burnt Oak park.
Jason Farinas, of Fallows Close, East Finchley, was arrested on Friday in connection with the brutal attack in Watling Park.
Two 16-year-old boys were stabbed near the basketball courts at the family play park, in Abbots Road, shortly after 7pm last Tuesday.
One of the victims, a student at the London Academy in Edgware, remains in hospital in a critical but stable condition.
The other boy, a student at Barnet College, was discharged from hospital on the night of the attack.
Members of the Burnt Oak community, along with members of the critical boy’s family, held a candle lit vigil in the park over the weekend to pray for his recovery.
Police investigating the incident have been working with youth groups and local schools and colleges to further establish the circumstances around the attack.
Paddy McGrath, acting principal of the London Academy, said: “We have spoken to the family and given our thoughts and any support we can offer. We’ve spoken to students who may be upset or distressed but it is business as usual in terms of carrying on.
“He (the student) is in the right place and in the right hands right now. All incidents like this are disturbing and we have fully briefed staff in terms of what is going on.”
The incident evokes haunting memories of the fatal stabbing of London Academy student Kiyan Prince in 2006.
The 15-year-old was attacked by fellow student Hannad Hasan, who stabbed the QPR academy footballer four times with a pen knife outside the school gates.
Hasan was given a life sentence in 2007 and told he would serve at least 13 years for the murder.
Mr McGrath said: “I don’t want to ride over old territory. It is always sad to hear but our priority is now providing support to the student and his family as best we can. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and we’re hoping he makes a full recovery.
“I’m pleased the police have already made arrests and seem to be proactive in what they’re doing.”
Mr Farinas, an 18-year-old student, was arrested on Thursday and was shortly afterwards charged with attempted murder and wounding with intent.
He appeared at Hendon Magistrates’ Court on Friday and was remanded in custody. Four others arrested in connection with the stabbings have been released on bail by police.
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