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"Violent and vicious teen fugitive jailed for life

Agustin Sula
Agustin Sula

A teenager who was wanted by Interpol after fleeing a prison sentence in Albania has been detained for life after the "violent and vicious" murder of a young father.

Agustin Sula, 18, stabbed Mateusz Szleper seven times, piercing his heart and lungs, in revenge for a "perceived slight" by one of the victim's friends.

Sula arrived in Hull in 2014 as a fugitive after being convicted of a crime of theft by collaboration and sentenced to six months in prison in his home country.

Judge Jeremy Richardson QC told "dangerous" Sula he did not know if he would ever be released as he ordered him to be detained at Her Majesty's pleasure with a minimum term of 18 years.

Sentencing him at Hull Crown Court, the judge said: "Immaturity is understood by everyone but it was not your immaturity that governed your conduct that night after the initial incident, it was an innate aspect of your character - a desire for revengeful violence.

"Many young men are immature but they do not act violently and with the level of determined violence you exhibited.

"In my judgement, you are a man - albeit a young man - possessed of a violent character and personality. You are also impetuous and volatile.

"Given what you did, and the fact you repeatedly carried a knife, you are, thus, a dangerous individual.

"I have no means of being able to gauge at this stage when, or if, it will be ever safe to release you."

Sula's brother, Ermal Sula, 24, was jailed for four years for assisting an offender.

Judge Richardson told him it was likely he would be removed from the UK at the end of his sentence.

Agustin Sula was 17 when he murdered Polish 21-year-old Mr Szleper in Hull on February 14.

Judge Richardson said the teenager regularly carried a knife and had been involved in fights on previous occasions.

He told him: "A knife in the possession of an idle young man in public, who has a tendency to get involved in fights, particularly one who is volatile, as you were, provides the map and compass for a route to disaster. That is what has happened here."

On the evening of the murder, Agustin Sula was carrying an 8in (20cm) knife, with a sharp tip and a partially serrated blade, which had the appearance of a knuckle duster.

The judge said: "You had no lawful purpose for that knife and it was plainly carried by you to bolster your inadequate character and personality, coupled with a plain intention to use it when you saw the need."

There was a "minor collision" between Agustin Sula and one of the victim's friends, when their shoulders connected as they walked past each other.

Judge Richardson said: "It was a very minor incident and from that minor incident the horror of the subsequent events unfolded."

He added: "I will not lose sight of your immaturity but it was subsumed into a desire for violence and your perceived need for retribution for what had been done to you."

There was a verbal confrontation between the two groups before Agustin Sula, his brother and a friend followed the Polish men and the teenager launched his attack, telling his friends: "Come and watch, I'm going to f*** up that Igor."

The court heard that Agustin Sula initially armed himself with a piece of wood but, when that broke into three pieces, he used his knife, stabbing Mr Szleper with such force the weapon penetrated 6in (15cm) into his body.

After the murder, Agustin Sula disposed of the knife on wasteland and the group all changed their clothes and washed certain items.

The brothers later left Hull and travelled to the Birmingham area, where it is believed Ermal Sula had a job, but both were arrested on February 24 and charged with murder.

Agustin Sula was convicted of murder after a 17-day trial. The jury was unable to reach a verdict in respect of Ermal Sula's murder charge and he pleaded guilty to assisting an offender.

Judge Richardson said: "You, Agustin Sula, remained a fugitive from justice in Albania when you arrived in this country.

"As you tried to evade justice in Albania, so too, you tried to evade justice in this country. You have failed in that endeavour."