A young man has been found guilty of committing grievous bodily harm, after pushing an 18-year-old woman off a fourth-floor balcony when she rejected his advances.
Yusef Ali was convicted after a trial at Croydon Crown Court on Tuesday. He had shoved the victim off the balcony inside a luxury block of flats in South London on August 4 last year.
The unprovoked attack came after a party both Ali and the victim had attended descended into chaos.
A friend of Ali had hired out a flat at Empire Square in Southwark to host a party, during which the 19-year-old had spotted the woman, who he did not know.
Ahead of the incident, he had put his hand inside the woman’s ripped jeans, grabbed her neck and pulled her hair, the court heard.
At one point he told her “This is what I do in the bedroom” while pulling her close to him, causing the victim to become distressed and agitated.
After it became clear that the 18-year-old did not reciprocate his feelings, Ali became aggressive; meanwhile a fight with some other young men who had just arrived the party broke out.
Ali, who is from Brixton in South London, received a split lip during the scuffle, which prompted him to grab a kitchen knife and begin lashing out and stabbing those around him.
In the melee, at least two men were stabbed, both of whom had to be taken to hospital but who have now recovered.
As the revellers rushed out of the flat to escape, the woman ran to the lifts and began pressing the button to try and leave the block of flats.
But before the lift arrived, Ali ran towards her and pushed her over the interior balcony. The victim fell to the floor, four storeys below, and suffered several serious fractures to her neck and back.
Ali attempted to leave the building, walking past the victim who lay below without looking at her, and with his T-shirt pulled over his face but was arrested by police officers who had already arrived.
Metropolitan Police Detective, Constable Tom Waller said, “Ali violently pushed an innocent 18-year-old woman off a fourth-floor internal balcony in a fit of rage, which had already seen him stab two men.
“It was only by sheer luck that she was not more seriously injured and although she is recovering well, this incident has had a huge impact on her life.”
After spending several weeks in the hospital receiving treatment for the wounds she sustained in the fall, she is now back home, although she has not been able to return to college or her job.
Kathryn Iyer, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said, “This was a senseless act of violence during a party that went badly wrong.
“The victim in this case was extremely lucky to have survived the fall. I hope she continues in her recovery and gains a sense of closure following this conviction.”
Although Ali denied the charges, the jury was shown Snapchat videos taken during the party that revealed his aggressive behaviour, CCTV evidence from the block of flats, and heard from witnesses at the party.
A knife handle found in his pocket when he was arrested also matched a blade discovered at the scene.
He was also found guilty of affray and possession of a bladed article at Croydon Crown Court, and will be sentenced next month.