July 30 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Two of the men who stabbed 17-year-old Kelvin Chibueze to death in Ilford have failed an attempt to clear their names.
Dale George Williams, 22, of and Hugo Okecho Nwanko, 19, tried to get their convictions overturned by the Appeal Court but their appeal was thrown out by top judges today.
They were one of four men jailed for life at the Old Bailey in December 2012 after being found guilty of Kelvin’s murder.
The teenager, from Croydon, collapsed in a car park outside the Lidl supermarket off High Road, Ilford, after being repeatedly stabbed with a foot-long blade in August 2011.
He had been trying to flee a violent brawl at the nearby Arteflex nightclub.
Williams, of Harts Lane, Barking, and Nwanko, of Park Avenue, East Ham, challenged the guilty verdicts, with their lawyers arguing they were “unsafe”.
Barristers representing argued they were unable to properly test the evidence of an eyewitness who was allowed to remain anonymous and whose voice was disguised throughout the trial.
But their appeals were dismissed by three judges, who said the protection of the witness’ identity cast no doubt on the verdicts.
They also threw out appeals against the 26-year minimum term handed to Williams and the 16-year minimum Nwanko must serve, saying they were “not excessive”.
Many witnesses to Kelvin’s murder refused to co-operate with police and the trial judge allowed anonymity to encourage evidence.
Lord Justice Aikens said clear directions were given to the jury about potential difficulties with an anonymous witness.
Sitting with Mr Justice Cooke and Mr Justice MacDuff, he added: “We have come to the conclusion that there is nothing in this ground of appeal.
“We are quite satisfied that the judge would have had all the relevant material before him on which to base his decision.”
A woman has been airlifted to hospital with serious injuries after she was hit by a train near Seven Kings Station today.