18 years for Tube station killers

 

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The Independent Online

Three youths were jailed for 18 years each today for murdering a 15-year-old schoolboy stabbed to death at a Tube station.

Promising footballer Sofyen Belamouadden had dreamed of playing for England.

But he was stabbed nine times after pupils from two rival schools clashed at London's Victoria station in March 2010.

Old Bailey judge Christopher Moss gave each a life sentence, ordering they be detained during Her Majesty's Pleasure.

Obi Nwokeh, 19, Christopher Omoregrie, 18, and Samson Odegbune, 18, were told they must serve a minimum of 18 years.

They were also ordered to serve concurrent eight-year detention sentences for conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm.

Judge Moss said the “ferocious and merciless attack” took place in front of horrified commuters.

He said: “You gathered together for the purpose of serious mass violence in a busy public place at the height of the rush hour.”

Judge Moss was sentencing eight youths found guilty of various offences during a series of trials.

He said the 12-second attack on Sofyen had followed a minor confrontation the day before between pupils of two west London schools in the Victoria station food area.

Following messages by text and on Facebook, members of the defendant's school armed themselves with knives and a Samurai sword, expecting the other group to attack their school.

But the confrontation came at Victoria when members of Sofyen's school were charged by teenagers led by Odegbune holding the sword.

A breakaway group chased Sofyen into the Tube ticket office area and kicked, stabbed and struck him with other weapons as travellers watched in disbelief.

The youths had shown no remorse or acknowledged responsibility for the death, the judge told a packed courtroom.

Earlier, Sofyen's father, Abdeslan, 51, said of his son: “He was a star in the making. He was an outstanding all-round player.

”He was born and bred in London and often talked of his ambition to represent England in the World Cup final.“

Mr Belamouadden said in an impact statement that Sofyen's death had devastated his family.

He said: ”I have no wish to inflict revenge on the culprits but Sofyen, whose life was tragically cut short, would expect justice to take its course.

“I often think of the suffering he must have gone through, that he was set upon with such savagery and why I was not there to protect him.”

Sofyen's mother Naima's statement said: “I hope the memory of what they did to my son lives with them every day as it lives with me.”

Adonis Akra, 18, Samuel Roberts, 19, and Femi Oderinwale, 18, were found guilty of manslaughter and given 12 years detention each.

Victoria Osoteku, 19, the only female charged in connection with the death, was also found guilty of manslaughter and will be sentenced next week.

Tyrone Richards, 17, and Enoch Amoah, 19, were found guilty of conspiracy to commit GBH and were sentenced to seven years detention.

The defendants, all originally from west London, were among 20 pupils charged in connection with the attack.

Four youths were earlier sentenced to two years' detention after pleading guilty to violent disorder.

Three have been cleared of all charges and four others are still to be tried.