Jury fails to reach verdict in trial of Charlie Kutyauripo murder accused

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 jury in the trial of a 16-year-old boy accused of stabbing his former friend to death has failed to reach a verdict.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been on trial for murder at the Old Bailey over the death of Charlie Kutyauripo, also 16, who was killed outside a birthday party in January.

But today the three-week trial resulted in a hung jury, following nine hours of deliberations.

Judge Paul Worsley QC set a provisional retrial date for November 14 and thanked Charlie’s family for their patience.

He said: “I know this is not easy for you or the defendant’s family”.

Charlie’s father, sitting in the well of the court, wept upon hearing the news.

Former King Solomon High School pupil Charlie, from Collier Row, died after being stabbed in the chest outside a friend’s party at Ashton Playing Fields, Chigwell Road, Woodford Bridge on January 9.

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The court heard from 10 underage witnesses, most of whom were sitting their GCSE exams during the trial, of the rivalry between Charlie and the defendant.

The pair had previously been friends, but fell out at the end of last year.

One witness, who knew both of them, alleged it was over a tracksuit, but the defendant told the court it was due to a group of Charlie’s friends, reportedly known as the Hainault boys.

He told the jury they had twice beaten him up, and he had also twice carried a blade “for my protection”.

The Old Bailey heard that on the night of the party the defendant took a 15cm kitchen knife from under his sink.

At 9.40pm Charlie and the boy got into a confrontation outside the sports centre.

The court was shown CCTV footage which appears to show the defendant turn around and stab Charlie in the chest, and then in the shoulder.

He claims he stabbed Charlie in self defence.

“He was following me and he was trying to take something out. I thought it was a knife,” said the defendant.

The court heard how Charlie staggered to the front of the sports centre where he collapsed, while the boy ran towards Woodford Green.

Charlie died less than an hour later in Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone.

The youth, from Seven Kings, denies murder.