|Murder of Acton Schoolboy 'Planned on Facebook'|
First of a number of trials of 20 defendants accused of murdering Sofyen Belamouadden
A fight between pupils from rival schools which ended in the “brutal and merciless” killing of a schoolboy in Victoria Station was organised on Facebook, The Old Bailey heard this week.
The jury were told Sofyen Belamouadden from Acton, aged 15, was “hunted down” punched, kicked and stabbed by up to 20 youths in the ticket hall of the Underground station becuause of "simmering tensions" between rival schools.
One of the accused killers is 18-year-old Victoria Osoteku, of Mereton Mansions, Brookmill Road, New Cross, who is suspected of helping arm the gang with a complete set of kitchen knives.
The court also heard the gang used batons, swords and iron bars to kill Sofyen with “indescribable aggression” in front of rush hour commuters.
CCTV footage from inside the station showed helpless Sofyen being knocked to the ground and surrounded.
Jurors were told that Osoteku was also seen on camera kicking Sofyen as he lay helpless and fatally wounded.
The first in a series of trials involving 20 defendants can now be reported after the Court of Appeal lifted an order which had previously prevented publication of the case, which started earlier this month.
Four 17-year-olds are in the dock alongside Osoteku, Samuel Roberts, Obi Nwokeh, and Enoch Amoah, who are all 18. Roberts from Camberwell, Nwokeh from Borough, Osoteku, Amoah from Denmark Hill and the four other defendants deny murder, conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm and violent disorder.
It was put to the court that Osoteku helped buy the £3.99 knife-set from Argos in Shepherds Bush during a lunchbreak as she was old enough to pay for the “age restricted items”.
Jurors heard the night before the death one of the 17-year-olds, who was just 16 at the time, took to Facebook to recruit “troops and weapons”. He repeatedly asked online friends for a “flick-up ting” and later asked an older friend to “buy some nanks from Argos”, referring to a box set of kitchen knives.
Other defendants, who also communicated by texts, talked about the “madness” that was going to take place the next day.
Sofyen was rushed to St Thomas's hospital, but could not be saved and he was pronounced dead at 6.15pm. A post-mortem examination found 20 separate marks of injury on his body, including 11 “incised or cutting wounds” of which nine were individual stabs.
One wound to his right shoulder was 12cm deep and cut in to his right lung. Another to the front of the chest sliced through a rib and in to the heart and nicked one of his vertebrae.
There were also two wounds that went through his leg and a “slash or chop” wound to the top of his head.
Following the attack 12 of the 20 suspects boarded a C10 bus and appeared “hyper” and “pumped up” to other passengers.
One of the suspects was overheard telling a friend: “Didn't you see me run in to the station and shank him?”
Police officers stopped the bus and found a selection of knives as well as blade-sharpening steels and a schoolbag. Six of the teenagers now on trial were arrested at the scene.
The court heard Sofyen's blood was found on at least three knives recovered by police and one of the sharpening steels. There were also drops on Roberts' trainers and a black jacket worn by one of the 17-year-olds .
The trial continues.
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27 January 2011