Ilford boy’s fatal stabbing was ‘self defence, not murder’ judge decides

A 16 YEAR-old boy who stabbed a rival Ilford teenager to death in the street has been cleared of murder today after a judge ruled he acted in self-defence.

The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, plunged a knife into the heart of Olukorede Fajinmi, 17, of Park Avenue, Ilford, during a clash between two rival gangs.

It emerged during the Old Bailey trial that Mr Fajinmi was part of a group of “Dagenham Boys” who had just left a party at the Powerleague Leisure Centre in Beckton on February 19.

Witnesses told how they spotted a larger group from the “Harts Lane” gang in Barking and charged them, forcing them to flee.

The 16 year-old was caught and stabbed in the shoulder twice by Mr Fajinmi before taking out his own knife and causing the fatal injury, jurors heard.

At the half way stage of the case, the judge ruled the prosecution had failed to prove the 16 year-old defendant had acted in self defence.

Peter Beaumont QC said: ‘Starting on the premise that it was [the 16 year-old] who caused the deceased’s death by stabbing in the chest, the Crown has nevertheless to prove that he caused the death unlawfully.

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“That is to say not in necessary and reasonable self defence. In focusing on that issue and examining the evidence available to the prosecution, I have come to the conclusion that the prosecution do not cross that threshhold.”

The prosecution dropped a charge against a second teenager who was said to have stabbed the 16 year-old boy in the shoulder in revenge for the killing of Mr Fajinmi.

Jurors will now only have to consider whether the second youth, also 16, and his 47 year-old mother perverted the course of justice by hiding his bloodstained jacket.

Mr Fajinmi’s friend, from Dagenham, denied wounding with intent. He and his mother, also from Dagenham, deny perverting the course of justice.