A MACHETE-wielding gang member has been jailed for 10 years for slashing and stabbing four victims in Selby town centre.

Witnesses later described Shekquarn Fitzgerald, then 18, as “running around, swinging it (the machete) like a lightsaber in Star Wars” and how men ran for their lives.

Officers found two victims at the scene and two others 200 metres away.

Stephen Littlewood, prosecuting, said at the end of the late-night mayhem outside Square Bar the four victims had stab wounds to their chest or arms or slashes across their head or face and most will be scarred for life.

Fitzgerald and driver Benjamin Wilson fled from police at 110 mph through a 40 mph zone in a stolen Audi with false number plates towards their Birmingham homes.

Their journey ended 18 miles away near Castleford when Wilson crashed into a taxi, injuring its driver, and both were arrested.

As they started jail sentences, North Yorkshire Police praised the Selby community that helped bring them to justice.

After watching CCTV of the incident and seeing pictures of the machete, Judge Simon Hickey told York Crown Court : “It is a terrible weapon in my judgement.

“There is no reason in this country for anyone to have such a weapon. Two of the victims had life-changing injuries.”

He declared Fitzgerald, who first used a knife in public when, aged 15, he stabbed a man outside a McDonald’s, to be a “dangerous offender”.

Fitzgerald, now 19, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to four charges of wounding with intent and one of carrying a machete in public.

He was jailed for 10 years plus a three-year extended parole.

Wilson, now 24 of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, carrying a machete in public and handling a stolen Audi.

He was jailed for two years, banned from driving for four years and ordered to take an extended driving test.

For Fitzgerald, Andrew Semple said he had drifted into gang crime because of where his family were then living in Birmingham.

Since his arrest after the incident on August 5, 2018 and remand in custody, he had changed his “distorted beliefs”.

A probation report to the court said Fitzgerald was likely to be violent in a similar situation in future.

Mr Littlewood said Polish and English men and Wilson were arguing outside the bar at 2.30am.

Fitzgerald fetched the machete from the Audi parked nearby and started attacking people.

The first victim had a deep stab wound in his chest and his arm was cut to the bone.

His brother’s wrist was slashed so badly as he tried to defend his face, he cannot use it properly.

The third victim was left with a slash across his ear and scalp, a disabling stab wound to his shoulder and frequently suffers pains like sharp needles.

The fourth victim had cuts to his arm, lip and upper nose.

For Wilson, Stephen Duffield said he had not handled the machete during the Selby incident. He wanted to be a family man on his release.

How police and public combined to bring machete thug to justice

POLICE, businesses and the owner of a compost bin combined to catch machete man Shekquarn Fitzgerald and driver Benjamin Wilson.

Both fled the scene of the incident when police arrived, but were spotted at 3.40am heading for the A1(M) in an £14,000 Audi that had been stolen some months earlier in Birmingham.

When officers told him to stop, Wilson set off at speed.

In the pursuit that followed, he drove on the wrong side of the road, went through red lights and drove at 110mph in a 40 mph zone before crashing into a taxi on a roundabout between Castleford and the M62, injuring its driver.

The pair had thrown the machete into a compost bin in Selby, but the bin’s owner found it and handed it over to police.

It had blood and DNA from three of the victims still on it and both defendants’ fingerprints on the handle.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “Violent incidents of this nature are extremely rare in North Yorkshire, and the investigation and subsequent court case show that they will simply not be tolerated.

“The investigation received excellent support from local business owners who provided crucial CCTV evidence, the vigilant member of the public who came forward when they found the discarded machete in their bin and the witnesses who helped identify those responsible.”