Youths jailed for kicking asylum seeker to death

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The Independent Online

A 17-year-old who kicked an African asylum seeker to death in a row over a cigarette was today jailed for a minimum of 11 years for murder.

Andrew Spence's 13-year-old accomplice, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to five years for manslaughter after a trial in August at Newcastle Crown Court.

Defenceless Alioune Cisse, 30, was chased and repeatedly punched, stamped on and kicked by the teenagers in Newcastle's West End in February.

The Senegalese national suffered massive head injuries and died three days later in hospital.

Judge John Milford handed Spence, of St John's Walk, Benwell, Newcastle, a life sentence and told him he must serve a minimum of 11 years before he can apply for parole.

He also lifted an order which prevented the media from identifying the killer. A similar order on the younger defendant was not lifted.

Mr Cisse walked up to a group of youths as they stood outside an off licence and asked them for a cigarette, and an argument broke out when he was refused.

The 30-year-old, also known as Papa Mody Mbaye, walked off but was attacked.

Spence stamped on his victim's head, using a wall to steady himself, even after Mr Cisse was unconscious. The younger boy joined in the vicious attack.

Each had drunk eight cans of lager, and Spence had a bottle of Lambrini wine as well.

Outside court, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Potts said: "This was an horrendous attack on a man who wanted nothing more than to start a new life for himself in Newcastle.

"Today's sentences reflect the seriousness of this unprovoked attack and I am pleased that these two young men will have a long time to reflect on their cowardly actions.

"I would also like to acknowledge the support of the local community in the West End of Newcastle, who provided us with the vital information that allowed us to put those responsible before the courts.

"Without their help, securing these convictions would have been far more difficult and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them."

A 15-year-old who stood trial with the others was cleared by the jury.