14 teenagers deny murdering youth at Tube station

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The Independent Online

14 teenagers today appeared at the Old Bailey to deny murdering a 15-year-old schoolboy at Victoria Underground station.

Six other youths who are also charged with killing Sofyen Belamouadden were in court alongside them but have yet to enter pleas.

The 20 defendants, all from south London, are due to face three separate trials starting in January next year.

Sofyen, a promising footballer, was stabbed nine times in March.

Victoria Osoteku, Obi Nwokeh, Samuel Roberts, Chris Goncalves, Tayo Ajayi, all 18, together with 13 youths aged 17, one 16-year-old and one 15-year-old, face charges of murder, conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm and violent disorder.

:: Osoteku, Nwokeh, and Roberts, together with four of the 17-year-olds, denied the counts and are due to go on trial on January 4, together with another 17-year-old who has yet to enter a plea.

Two of the 17-year-olds plus Osoteku remain on bail while the rest of the defendants from the first trial were remanded in custody.

:: A second trial on April 11 will include Goncalves, Ajayi, and a 17-year-old, who denied the charges today, together with two 17-year-olds and the two boys aged 15 and 16 who are yet to enter a plea.

Goncalves, Ajayi, and two 17-year-olds are on bail and the rest of the defendants from this trial were remanded in custody.

:: The third trial on June 13 involves five 17-year-old youths, of whom four denied all the charges against them today and a fifth has yet to enter a plea. They all remain on bail.