Teenager who killed schoolboy jailed for life

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The Independent Online

A teenager who killed the schoolboy Jimmy Mizen after a row in a London bakery was convicted of murder and jailed for life yesterday.

Jake Fahri, 19, was told he must serve a minimum of 14 years after being found guilty of killing the 16-year-old altar boy in Lee, south London, in May last year.

Fahri threw a glass oven dish which shattered upon hitting Jimmy in the face. A splinter entered his neck and severed vital blood vessels. He collapsed and died in his eldest brother's arms.

As the verdict was delivered at the Old Bailey yesterday, the Mizen family applauded, then fell silent, weeping and comforting each other. Fahri, who has four previous convictions for robbery, burglary and assault, showed no emotion as he was sentenced, but as he was led to the cells he called out: "I will be all right, mum. I'll be all right."

The trial heard that Jimmy had gone to the Three Cooks Bakery on Saturday 10 May, the day after his 16th birthday, with his brother Harry, 19. While there they became involved in a row after Jimmy stood his ground when Fahri demanded he get out of his way. Fahri hit Jimmy on the head with two plastic bottles, but the brothers fought back, punching him out of the shop and then locking the doors. But Fahri smashed his way back in using a metal advertising display. When Jimmy tried to take it from him, Fahri threw the tray.

Witnesses said that after the tray hit Jimmy, Fahri swaggered from the shop with a triumphant grin on his face. Fifteen seconds later Jimmy's other brother Tommy, 27, arrived. Jimmy, blood spouting from his neck, died in Tommy's arms. Their mother Margaret arrived and fainted. When she came round she sent for a priest.

Sally O'Neill QC, for the defence, told the court that the incident was "deeply unlucky". The judge, Mr Justice Calvert Smith, said it was "a trivial incident over absolutely nothing [that] ended three minutes later with the death of a blameless young man". To Fahri he said: "The court accepts that you did not intend to kill your victim."

Outside court Jimmy's father Barry, 57, choked back tears as he said: "I want to thank God for Jimmy, thank God for his life. It was a pleasure and a privilege to have been his parents. Jimmy was the shining star in our family and will always be remembered with a smile. God bless you, Jimmy."

He then called for Britain to return to the values it once held. "We have become a country of anger, of selfishness and of fear. It doesn't have to be like this. Let's together try and stop it. This is a country of civility and a country of fair play, fairness, and a country of safety. We are rapidly losing that."

Detective Chief Inspector Cliff Lyons dismissed Fahri's tears and apologies during his police interview. "I absolutely reject it was remorse and so do the Mizen family," he said. "I think it is quite insulting, a tactical ploy.

"Jimmy was an individual that I think we all would aspire to have a son like. Jake Fahri is entirely different, he can only be described as a yob. He is extremely violent and the jury have returned a just verdict."