Two students from wealthy Nigerian homes who battered a fellow student with a shisha pipe in an argument over whose daddy was the richest, have been spared jail.
Elvis Ilonze, 20, who is so rich he had his Mercedes covered in fur, attacked his childhood friend Prince Nnaji in the flat they shared on North Street in Brighton.
Mr Nnaji tried to escape the flat but Ilonze, along with his friend Daniel Oluyemi, 24, chased after him and beat him with a wine bottle on April 7 last year at about 10pm
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.
Nnaji and Ilonze had known each other from Nigeria, but when Nnaji dared to suggest that he had the richer father Ilonze decided to ‘teach him a lesson’.
Ilonze and Oluyemi, 24, both pleaded guilty to two counts of assault occasioning grevious bodily harm and were spared jail at the Old Bailey.
Privileged’ 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.
His barrister Tom Hoskins said that Ilonze faces deportation back to Nigeria if he were given a sentence of more than one year in custody.
Oluyemi, who is training to become an accountant at the same university, is expecting a child in September or October.
His barrister, Johnathan Page, said that the right place for him is at home, preparing for the ‘momentous occasion’, not in prison.
Judge Christine Laing QC spared the ‘cosseted’ pair jail, suspending a 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, who wore a blue suit, and Oluyemi, wearing a grey suit and glasses, thanked the judge for sparing them jail before leaving the Old Bailey dock.
Ilonze, of Hendon, and Oluyemi, of Colindale, North London, admitted two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
They were each given a one-year prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.