Youths face life for boy's murder

Three youths face life sentences after being found guilty today of murdering schoolboy Nicholas Pearton.







The 16-year-old was chased across a park in daylight and killed by a gang of schoolchildren last May.



Some of the youngsters were still wearing their school blazers and ties as they hounded Nicholas with knives and other weapons, the Old Bailey heard.



Within minutes, he was dead, stabbed in the back in the street and lying in a pool of blood in a shop where he took refuge.



His parents, who lived near Home Park, Sydenham, south east London, ran to the area but could not help him because his body was lying across the door.



Two 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old were found guilty of murder. Another 17-year-old was found guilty of manslaughter.



A 14-year-old and a further 16-year-old were cleared of charges.



The convicted youths, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were remanded in custody for sentencing next month.











Edward Brown QC, prosecuting, told the court that the violence was the result of a clash between two gangs - the Shanks & Guns and the rival Black Mafia.



Nicholas died after the knife pierced his heart when the mainly 15 and 16-year-old members of the S&G gang chased him through the park.



Mr Brown said: "Nicholas Pearton was chased across a public park by a group of young but armed teenagers.



"He was unable to escape. When he was caught he was stabbed and killed.



"Some of the defendants were in their school uniform at the time of the attack - in their blazers and ties.



"Indeed the origin of the fatal violence in the park that afternoon may have been an incident earlier in the day at a school.



"More than one of those hounding down Nicholas Pearton was armed with a knife."



Mr Brown said Nicholas was the only white boy involved in the incident that afternoon.



He went to the park after receiving a call and telling friends that he had to go to help because S&G were there.



Three hours earlier, a friend, a member of Black Mafia - also known as the Sydenham Boys - had been involved in a row at school with a 17-year-old.



This had led to a confrontation in the park between the two gangs. But by the time Nicholas arrived, his friends and the Black Mafia boys had gone.



Mr Brown said: "Moments after he arrived, his associates and friends, and therefore to a degree his protection, had evaporated.



"He was left on his own and isolated in the park. In the eyes of the defendants, however, he remained a member of the rival Black Mafia gang.



"What happened thereafter, as described by one witness who saw the defendants as they ran Nicholas Pearton to ground and killed him, was a group of young men acting 'like animals'.



"He was an easy and vulnerable target on his own. He was chased across the park, described as 'running for his life'.



"He was caught by two or three at least in Sydenham Road. It was there that he was stabbed by the front runner."



Mr Brown showed the jury dramatic CCTV footage of Nicholas's last moments as he ran to a chicken shop and slumped on the floor.



"Nicholas Pearton's mother was close by and had been alerted to her son being in the park and potentially in danger.



"She came on to the scene after her son had been injured. In those dreadful and deeply distressing moments she saw her son lying dead or dying inside the door of the shop.



"His father too was soon on the scene, also very distressed," Mr Brown told the jury.



He said that, after the stabbing, the group discarded their weapons as they made off, laughing and joking.



"One was seen to hold a knife high above his head, as if bragging at what had just happened," he added.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little