Two teenagers jailed for schoolboy murder

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The Independent Online

Two teenagers were given life sentences today for the murder of a schoolboy.

They had been part of a gang which chased 16-year-old Kodjo Yenga shouting "kill him, kill him".

Kodjo was left dying in his girlfriend's arms after being stabbed in the heart in Hammersmith, west London, in March, last year.

He had been ambushed by about a dozen youngsters, including two girls, who armed themselves with knives, bats and even a bull terrier.

As horrified passers-by tried to help, the gang, some of them in their school uniforms, ran away laughing.

Judge Christopher Moss ordered that Tirrell Davis, 17, and Brandon Richmond, 14, should be detained during Her Majesty's Pleasure.

He told the Old Bailey they should serve a minimum term of 15 years.

Three other youths, Yemoh Kurtis, 17, Jamel Bridgeman and Michel Williams, both 15, were given ten years' detention with five years on extended licence after their release.

The five, who had denied killing Kodjo, were all from Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush, west London.

Kodjo went into the area after being challenged to a fight by one youth - then being ambushed by others.

He had told the youth with the knife: "Do you think you are a big boy because you have a knife to me?"

He was told: "I don't care. I want you to respect me," the court heard.

Kodjo's 15-year-old girlfriend, who cannot be named for legal reason, cradled him as he lay dying.

She said: "I ran straight up to Kodjo. He was holding his heart. He was lying and I turned him over.

"I put his head in my lap and I was crying and I said: 'Please don't die, please don't die'."

Kodjo was a bright student at a Roman Catholic school who was expected to go to university and loved music.

The attackers, some of them in their school uniforms, were young members of the MDP, Murder Dem Pussies or Money, Drugs, Power - a local gang.

A trademark of the MDP is to attack boys who are not part of the gang by suggesting a one-to-one fight outside their local area, culminating in a "serious assault with various weapons", according to the prosecution.

Sir Allan said a local teacher had seen a boy with the knife.

He said: "She heard a girl shout 'he's going to stab him', then the same girl shouted: 'He stabbed him'.

"The boy had a knife in his hand. The knife was shiny, shaped about 5in long and less than 1in wide.

"There was wet blood on the blade of the knife. The boy was holding it out at arm's length with the blade pointing upwards.

"He looked proud as if he had done something by way of an accomplishment."