May 23 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Four killers who stabbed a teenager to death in a mass brawl after a birthday party in Ilford are facing life sentences today.
The quartet chased Kelvin Chibueze, 17, out of the Artifex nightclub, off High Road, brandishing Champagne and brandy bottles before fatally attacking him.
The mob, who were also wielding knives and a bar stool, launched their assault after a petty squabble about a girl broke out inside a private party.
Kelvin tripped and was then repeatedly stabbed with a foot-long blade while his attackers – all members of the Barking-based Harts Lane street gang – sat on his legs to prevent escape.
Officers at nearby Ilford Police Station thought they were witnessing another outbreak of mass disorder following the looting and violence that had swept the capital just days earlier in August last year.
Dale Williams, 21, of Harts Lane, Barking; Lerone Boye, 25, of Henley Road, Ilford; Hugo Nwankwo, 18, of Halbutt Street, Dagenham and Roger Damali, 31, of Maculey Road, East Ham, denied murder but were convicted after a trial at the Old Bailey.
Judge John Bevan adjourned sentencing until next month to allow reports detailing the gang background of the murder to be prepared.
Deaf-mute Ibrahim Zakari, 21, of St Margaret’s, Barking, who followed proceedings through a sign language interpreter, was cleared of murder but convicted of violent disorder.
He will be sentenced at 2pm today.
Joel Asare-Minta, 22, of Park Avenue, East Ham and Diphy Menga, 24, of St Mary’s Road, Ilford, were cleared of both murder and violent disorder by a jury.
An eighth suspect, Kongolo Kongola, 30, of Sewell Street, Plaistow, was cleared part-way through the two-month trial due to a lack of evidence.
Violence flared inside the club on August 15 last year.
At least four knives were found nearby stained with Kelvin’s blood and it is thought some of his group were also wielding blades.
The 23rd birthday party at the 150-capacity venue, located inside a converted shopfront, had begun the previous evening and by the early hours the atmosphere had become tense.
Kelvin, of Croydon, was affiliated to the notorious Dagenham Boys gang and went by the street name Boss Don Gramz.
Kelvin’s death is thought to have been sparked by comments about a girl.
He was found lying injured in Thompson Close, Ilford and was taken to The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, but was pronounced dead. One of the wounds he received had pierced his lung.