Charlie Kutyauripo stabbing: Teen found guilty of murdering former friend at Woodford Bridge party
- Credit: @MostAuthentic
A 17-year-old boy was today convicted of stabbing his former friend to death outside a birthday party in Woodford Bridge, just over a year after the incident.
The youth, from Seven Kings, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty at the Old Bailey today of the murder of Charlie Kutyauripo, 16, following a retrial.
In a rare move, the jury sent a note to Judge Rebecca Poulet QC to “recommend the defendant to leniency” before delivering its unanimous verdict.
The judge thanked them for the care they had taken in what she described as a very “sad” case before adjourning sentencing to Wednesday.
Former King Solomon High School pupil Charlie, from Collier Row, died after being stabbed in the chest outside a friend’s 16th birthday party in Ashton Playing Fields, in Chigwell Road, on January 9 last year.
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He collapsed in front of around 100 other guests after the defendant had slashed a knife twice into his heart and shoulder.
He was rushed to Whipps Cross Hospital, in Leytonstone, but died within the hour.
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Prosecutor Louis Mably QC had told the court that Charlie and his attacker used to be friends.
“The defendant and Charlie did know each other, in fact they used to be very good friends.
“But they had a serious falling out,” he explained.
It happened at the end of 2015 Mr Mably said.
“One witness said they had fallen out over something as simple as a tracksuit, which Charlie had lent to the defendant and he had not released it back.”
On the night of the stabbing Charlie and his friends arrived at the party around 8.50pm.
They were dressed in white, as everyone at the birthday bash was to be covered in neon paint later on.
There was a DJ playing at the sports hall, and parents were monitoring guests.
Mr Mably had told the Old Bailey that the defendant arrived at 9.33pm, with four friends who were not invited to the party.
In CCTV footage shown to the jury, the defendant and Charlie walk down a road at the side of the sports hall.
The teenager then turns around and stabs Charlie in the chest knocking him backwards, just five minutes after arriving at the party.
The footage shows the defendant then stabs Charlie again in the shoulder, before the wounded 16-year-old hobbles towards the entrance to the sports centre where he collapsed.
Mr Mably said: “The first stab wound, this was the fatal stab wound, went to his chest.
“It had gone into his chest, sliced into his lung causing it to collapse going into his heart.
“It sliced open the left ventricle. The depth was about 15cm.”
The defendant then threw the knife away before fleeing Ashton Playing Fields, running down Chigwell Road towards Woodford Green.
He fled London, claiming he was scared he would be the victim of a retaliation attack, and was found three weeks later by police in Margate, Kent, after being arrested for a non-related crime.
In his evidence the defendant claimed he had acted in self-defence, saying Charlie was the member of a group called the “Hainault gang”.
He said he had taken a kitchen knife to the party because he thought gang members would be there, and believed Charlie also had a blade, although none was found.
Det Insp Jamie Stevenson, from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “In two seconds that night, a night that should have been full of celebration, Charlie’s life and future were taken from him and his family.
“They have been devastated by his murder, and have showed tremendous courage throughout this investigation and the prosecution case.
“The defendant made a number of choices that night, which have resulted in today’s guilty verdict.
“He chose to go to the party that night and he chose to go armed with a large kitchen knife. That shows he was looking for, or expecting trouble, and if and when that trouble came he would use his knife.
“At 17 years old he is now a convicted murderer, who has shown no remorse for taking Charlie’s life.
“He immediately went on the run to try and evade the police and still to date has not admitted murdering Charlie or explained why.
“In fact he has tried to blame Charlie, claiming he acted in self defence. I hope that today’s verdict can bring some answers to Charlie’s family.”