Teen gang murderer given life sentence

 

A teenager accused of two gang murders at the age of 16 was today given a life term.

Jordan Williams was told he would serve a minimum of 18 years for murdering Daniel Graham, 18, who was stabbed 24 times in 45 seconds.

Williams, who turned 17 last month, was part of a gang which attacked Mr Graham as he stepped off a bus on January 29, last year.

Williams was later arrested for the murder of promising athlete Sylvester Akapalara, 17, who was shot dead in Peckham, south London, a month before.

But a jury cleared him of that killing, which resulted in Sodiq Adeojo, 20, being jailed for a minimum of 30 years today.

Williams, Colin Aghatise, 16, and Lennie John, 24, all from Peckham, were found guilty yesterday at the Old Bailey of murdering Mr Graham.

Williams and Aghatise were today ordered to be detained during Her Majesty's Pleasure, with Aghatise given a minimum term of 15 years.

John, 24, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 22 years.

They were said to be members of the GMG gang which stands for various meanings including Guns, Murder and Girls.

Mr Graham was attacked with knives and a broken bottle in front of horrified passengers as he got off a bus in East Dulwich, south London.

He was helped back on to the 176 bus by passengers but died from his injuries.

Judge Timothy Pontius told the defendants: "Daniel Graham was murdered in circumstances of horrific and merciless brutality.

"He was killed in an attack which for all its brevity, was intensely ferocious.

"At least four and probably more, played an active part. They were acting like a pack of hyenas."

Williams had taken one of two lock-knives he kept at home to a party where violence was likely to arise at the meeting of two opposing groups.

Williams and Aghatise were both 15 at the time. All three defendants were from decent homes and had good academic achievements.

But on the night "they all too readily followed the pack instinct".

The court was told that Williams was a server at his local church and had been elected chairman of his school council.

And John's mother was said to work at a central London magistrates court.

Duncan Penny, prosecuting, said trouble flared at an under-18s event at Dulwich Hamlet Football Club and a gun was fired, hitting a youth in the leg.

He said a row broke out between Mr Graham's friends and another group of youths.

Mr Penny said: "Daniel's group was punched and knives were produced and it appears a firearm was discharged and at least one shot was fired.

"Daniel's group fled the party and their escape route took them past East Dulwich railway station. They were pursued by members of the defendants' group."

Mr Graham had tried to take refuge on the double-decker bus before changing his mind and jumping off.

But he was attacked in front of passengers by a large group of youths who subjected him to "a volley of punches, kicks and stamps" to the body and head.

Mr Penny said CCTV on the bus showed the time of the attack as 12.09am.

"It lasted in the region of 45 seconds," he added. "In that short period he had received 24 stab wounds, having been descended upon by a group of murderers."

Passengers made the driver drive off while Mr Graham, who was covered in blood, was laid across two seats by a nurse and her sister.

After seeing some of the attackers at the next stop, the bus drove on until police and an ambulance reached it in Lordship Lane.

Williams and John were identified by a youth who had viewed them singing a rap on YouTube.

DNA belonging to Aghatise was found on a broken bottle with Mr Graham's blood on it.

Mr Graham had gained seven GCSEs and was doing business studies. He did voluntary work for the NSPCC children's charity in his spare time.

His mother Stephanie said in an impact statement to the court that she had been devastated by his death.

She added: "Everyone loved Daniel. He was instantly likeable to all who knew him."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine