Girl, 16, saw Charlie Kutyauripo ‘catching his last breaths’ after the fatal stabbing, a court hears

Charlie Kutyauripo, 16, who was stabbed to death in Woodford Bridge. Photo: @MostAuthentic

Charlie Kutyauripo, 16, who was stabbed to death in Woodford Bridge. Photo: @MostAuthentic - Credit: @MostAuthentic

A 16-year-old girl said she saw Charlie Kutyauripo “catching his last breaths” moments after he had been stabbed outside a birthday party, a court heard.

Charlie, also 16, was fatally sliced in the heart with a large kitchen knife outside Ashton Playing Fields, in Woodford Bridge, on January 9, just after 9.30pm.

In a police interview played to the court, the young witness described Charlie’s last moments.

“He was catching his last breaths,” she said.

“A girl was her knees shaking him and he wouldn’t wake up. She was crying.

“The police and ambulance people came and did something to him, then one of them turned to us and said ‘he’s gone’.”

Charlie, from Collier Row Lane, Collier Row, was confirmed dead at Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone, less than an hour later.

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A 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is on trial at the Old Bailey charged with his murder.

Finishing his opening statement yesterday, prosecutor Louis Mably QC said: “The defendant thrust the knife into Charlie’s chest, and he did it with force severe enough not only to slice open Charlie’s lungs and heart but also damage his ribs.”

On Monday the jury were told that the defendant and Charlie used to be friends, before falling out towards the end of last year.

They were also shown CCTV footage of the fatal blow.

Mr Mably QC added: “The defendant decided to go to the party and he decided to take the knife with him.

“Presumably he was expecting trouble, and if that trouble came he was going to use the weapon.”

Yesterday the jury heard from three witnesses for the prosecution.

The 16-year-old girl, who was also attending the birthday bash, Dennis Mitchell, who drove past Charlie and the defendant moments before the stabbing, and Anne Marie Cuffy, who was supervising the event.

Miss Cuffy, who was stabbed herself in 2007, described finding Charlie slumped outside the sports centre, in Chigwell Road.

The court heard Miss Cuffy had been on the door, letting people into the party who were on the guestlist, when she saw a suspicious looking boy in black.

She told the jury: “I began following him and he was walking towards the gate, that’s when I bumped into Charlie on the floor. He was bleeding.”

Oliver Saxby QC, representing the defence, questioned Miss Cuffy as to whether alcohol was consumed at the party and people not on the guestlist managed to sneak in.

He asked the 16-year-old witness about a group called the Hainault Gang.

“Charlie was mates with people in that gang,” Mr Saxby QC told the court. The girl confirmed this.

Mr Saxby added that Charlie had been in trouble with the police.

The trial continues. The defendant, from Seven Kings, denies the charges.