A MAN was sent to a young offenders institute for six years after an unprovoked attack on a student at South Kenton station.

Elvin Grant, 19, of Wembley, was sentenced at a special hearing at Luton Crown Court on Thursday last week.

Mr Grant stabbed a 17-year-old boy at South Kenton station in September 2007 in what the judge described as a vicious attack.

The victim had been waiting with six friends on the platform for a train home when Mr Grant approached the group and threatened them.

The student tried to talk to the attacker to calm him down but was stabbed in the stomach and needed emergency life-saving surgery to repair damage to his internal organs. He is still on medication.

The victim's mother, who did wish to be named, said: "We are quite happy, but we were expecting him to get a longer sentence, as he is a dangerous man.

"We are all there for my son and his teachers have been great providing him with counselling.

"He has lost a lot of confidence and he says everytime he passes through the station he gets scared. I am lucky I still have my son."

At the hearing Mr Grant, who has a previous conviction for robbery, admitted stabbing the victim claiming he had been provoked.

But the Judge Andrew Bright QC rejected this.

Witnesses had to give their evidence from behind screens in court for fear of intimidation.

Whilst summing up, the judge suggested that Mr Grant had taken offence to the victim and his friend being in the neighbourhood.

The judge said that he wanted to send a "loud and clear message to people who engage in the violent usage of weapons, particularly knives that they cannot expect any mercy from the courts".

Detective Inspector David Aiton, the senior investigating officer on the case at the British Transport Police, said: "This was a particularly vicious attack and the victim is lucky to be alive, it was an unprovoked attack on a defenceless young man."