Two men have been convicted in relation to a stabbing in Eastbourne town centre.

Police were called to Terminus Road just after 8.30pm on Saturday 10 April after a 17-year-old boy suffered a significant stab wound to the stomach.

The victim had been with friends in the town centre earlier in the day when they were involved in a verbal altercation with two men.

Both parties dispersed, but the victim encountered the two men again later that evening while in Terminus Road by the entrance to The Beacon shopping centre.

As he was running from them, he tripped on a kerb and fell. It was while lying on the ground that he was stabbed once to the stomach.

The victim was flown by air ambulance to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton where he underwent emergency surgery. He has been left with life-changing injuries as a result of the attack.

The suspects had been seen to run from the scene in the direction of Hyde Gardens, disposing of an item in a bush as they did so. Police later found this to be a bloodied knife, which tests found had the suspects’ DNA on.

Officers investigating the assault carried out a number of fast-time enquiries, including extensive CCTV trawls. They identified footage showing the suspects buying a knife in The Beacon shopping centre, and in Terminus Road around the time of the assault.

Inno Makolo, 20, unemployed, of Chatsworth Road, Hackney, and Ashley Roberts-Araujo, 19, a scaffolder, of Sutton Way, Kensington and Chelsea, were both arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

In interview, Makolo denied even being in Eastbourne on April 10, despite being shown the CCTV footage and being presented with records showing his bank card being used in a hotel in the town.

Both men were charged and have since pleaded guilty to all offences on May 21. They have been remanded in custody for sentencing on July 2.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Jo Lane, said: “This was a vicious attack that has left a teenager traumatised and with life-changing injuries.

“I’d like to thank everyone who supported our investigation, and the members of the public who administered vital first aid to the victim at the scene.

“Thanks to a swift response by officers and detailed witness testimonials, we were able to gather strong evidence which has led to guilty pleas in court. This has saved the victim the distress of a trial, and we hope he can now focus fully on his recovery.”