28/05/2010

Stab Youth Faces Life In Jail

A 16-year-old boy has this week been found guilty of the murder of his former friend.

The youth, from London's Bow area was convicted at the Old Bailey of the murder of 18-year-old Salum Kombo in Bow on 20 December 2009.

The then 15-year-old originally appeared at Thames Youth Court on 22 December 2009 and was remanded in custody.

Sentencing will take place at the Old Bailey on the 22nd June - but it would seem that the teenager faces most of his life behind bars for his crime.

Police had been called to reports of a man injured in Devons Road near Purdy Street, E3.

Officers, London Ambulance Service and HEMS attended and discovered Salum suffering from stab wounds. Despite efforts to save him he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post mortem examination gave cause of death as a stab wound.

The court heard how the victim and defendant had been former friends, but in the weeks prior to the murder their friendship had deteriorated following an argument over an invite to a party.

On the night of the murder the defendant was in possession of a knife and told friends of his plans to stab Salum.

Salum arrived at the scene and he and the defendant left the rest of the group to, the victim and others believed, try and resolve their disagreements in private.

It was as the two walked away from the others that the defendant unexpectedly stabbed Salum in the chest in an unprovoked attack.

Following the incident the victim ran from the scene but collapsed in nearby Devons Road where he was discovered by an off duty paramedic who administered first aid prior to the arrival of the emergency services.

The defendant was arrested later that evening at his home address and taken into custody at Bethnal Green police station. He was charged two days later.

A second youth, aged 16 yrs, also arrested in connection with the investigation was subsequently released no further action.

Detective Inspector Joe Daly: "The tragic events which unfolded that night were the culmination of a combination of factors - a trivial argument, the defendant's oversensitivity about his own dignity and status, and his willingness to carry a knife.

"As a result an 18-year-old has needlessly lost his life; and a 16-year-old is now set to spend his young life behind bars."

(BMcC/GL)

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