Stabbing after petty dispute on Facebook

The Central Criminal Court. Photo: Tim Crook

An eighteen-year-old youth from Tower Hamlets lost his life in a fatal stabbing because of a perceived loss of face and petty dispute on the social networking site Facebook, the Old Bailey heard this week. The prosecution alleged he was murdered by a fifteen-year-old boy, now aged sixteen, who pleads not guilty. The jury heard that the defendant told the police he had acted in self-defence.

Salum Kombo died from a fatal wound to the chest near the scene of the alleged attack in Bromley-by-Bow last December.

Prosecuting QC, David Jeremy in his opening to the jury at the Central Criminal Court said,

“a young man has lost his life by being stabbed following a petty dispute and a perceived loss of face by the perpetrator.”

The jury heard that the victim and his alleged attacker had been friends, but they fought after a football match in Bartlett Park last summer. In the period leading up to the fatal stabbing five days before Christmas last year;

“there had been a trade of insults and threats between these two boys both directly and on Facebook. At one stage the boy who died called [the defendant] a ‘pussy’. That insult appears to have particularly incensed him. It was the combination of a silly argument, [the defendant’s] over-sensitivity about his own dignity and status, and his own willingness to carry a knife that led to the events of December 20.”

Mr Jeremy said that the two young men exchanged words outside a fish bar and the defendant pulled out a knife “without warning” and inflicted the fatal wound. Mr Kombo died on the pavement despite being given first aid by an ambulance driver commuting to work, and the attendance of an air ambulance doctor.  The jury heard that in police interviews the accused said he feared that the victim had a knife and would stab him. The trial resumes on Friday this week.

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