Boy, 16, stabbed to death in brawl

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The Independent Online

A 16-year-old boy stabbed to death in a mass brawl was last night named by police.

David Nowak, 16, was attacked on a housing estate near his home in Stoke Newington, North London last night.

He died from a deep wound that cut into his liver and a kidney.

Fourteen teenagers are in police custody being questioned over the death, which brings the number of teenagers murdered in London this year to 25.

David and a 15-year-old boy who has not been named were attacked outside a community centre where dozens of teens were celebrating a birthday party.

Both youngsters were taken to the Royal London Hospital but David died just after midnight. The 15-year-old was seriously injured but is in a stable condition.

One witness described seeing a young man bleeding heavily and clutching his abdomen while pleading for help as he ran through the estate.

Today a trail of blood stretched hundreds of yards from near the scene of the attack. Behind a police cordon on the edge of the estate, just yards from a main road, a huge pool of blood stained the pavement.

Residents described a raucous party at the Somerford and Shacklewell community centre that began in the early evening.

By 11pm nearly a hundred people, most in their teens and early 20's, had congregated in and outside the hall.

One resident described seeing a dark-skinned teenage boy running away from Farleigh Road late last night.

The man, who did not wish to be named, was looking out of his window when the youngster came running past clutching his stomach and bleeding heavily.

He described hearing the young man plead for help before running off into the estate.

He said: "He came running around this area and said 'someone help me, someone help me'.

"There was a lot of blood. He was holding his arm across his chest. He was by himself but I think someone was chasing him."

One female and 13 male youths, aged between 13 and 19, were arrested in connection with the murder and disturbance.

They were taken to north and east London police stations where they remain in custody.

Opposite the community centre in Somerford Grove forensic officers in sky-blue boiler suits picked their way through rubbish on the street.

Elsewhere on the huge housing estate dozens of uniformed officers spent the day searching back gardens and yards. It is not known if police have found the murder weapon.

One police source described the search of the estate as like looking for "a needle in a haystack". The source said the crime scene was hundreds of square metres.

John Lutchman, 60, who lives near the community centre described how the area was blighted by crime.

The former serviceman said he was scared to go out at night after being mugged only months before.

He said: "It's a terrible area for crime, the police don't seem to do anything about it. I'm afraid to walk around the streets late at night because you just don't know what will happen."

Gary Isaac, 28, described returning to his girlfriend's flat after going out last night to find police searching their road.

"It's shocking isn't it," he said. "I thought it was getting better round here but really it just gets worse.

"They were filming (ITV police drama) The Bill on Farleigh Road only a couple of weeks ago and when I saw the cops there last night I thought it was that again.

"Then I heard a boy died. It's a real tragedy."