Boy's fatal stabbing 'captured on his own mobile phone camera'


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The Independent Online

The death of a 14-year-old schoolboy stabbed in a children's play area was recorded on his own mobile phone, a court has heard.

A 12-second clip recorded on the telephone of Leroy James was played to jurors at the Old Bailey yesterday.

The footage showed how a row between two schoolboys on a sunny afternoon in August last year escalated into death in a north London children's play area known as The Gym in Ponders End.

The court was told that Leroy James, a pupil at Aylward Academy in nearby Edmonton, had emptied his pockets, giving a girl his mobile phone, before squaring up to a 14-year-old boy as other children egged them on. But the second, smaller boy, kept his right hand in his trouser pocket.

As the two struggled, Leroy's white T-shirt was stained with his blood after he was stabbed in the heart. Soon after, Leroy collapsed.

The defendant, now 15, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, liked to describe his blade as his "pet" or "alligator", the court heard.

"As, most regrettably, you will see when you watch these very events on video-recorded footage – of all ironies from the camera on the mobile telephone of the dead boy – the killer did indeed have his right hand in his pocket just prior to the fatal act as the dead boy, Leroy James, aimed his first unarmed punch," Duncan Penny, for the prosecution, told jurors. "And when that hand was in due course produced from that pocket, it was thrust to the chest of Leroy James, no doubt containing the blade which [the alleged attacker] had been concealing."

Mr Penny said there had been bad feeling between the boys, possibly about a girl, and others were egging them on to fight. "To those who were watching what was expected to be a fist fight transpired to be anything but," he added.

The defendant had allegedly told a friend on Facebook: "If you see me on road... and I have my right hand in my pocket dat [sic] means I have a knife."

The boy denies murder and having a knife as an offensive weapon.