Salum Kombo’s stabbing not on CCTV

Central Criminal Court. Photo: Tim Crook

An Old Bailey jury trying a 16 year old youth accused of the murder of Salum Kombo in Tower Hamlets has been shown footage from five CCTV cameras present in the Devons Road area on the evening of the stabbing.

A police witness traced the movements of the defendant, the victim, and the three identified members of a group of six youths, who were present in the lead-up to the incident and thereafter. The stabbing is not recorded on any camera.

The court was shown the defendant and Mr Kombo walking together away from a fish bar, ahead of the group, into a walkway that was not visible by CCTV camera. It is here that the stabbing is said to have taken place, in a little over a minute when the group were not captured on camera.

The officer traced the separate routes the defendant and Mr Kombo took following the incident. The defendant was shown walking towards the fence of a nearby car park holding something in his left hand, which the officer said was difficult to identify but:

“could be a knife”.

The officer said the defendant then did “something” at the fence before disappearing out of view.

Mr Kombo was shown running from the walkway in the direction of the Docklands Light Railway, where he eventually collapsed on the pavement outside.

The 16 year old boy on trial pleads not guilty to the charge of murder. Last week the prosecution alleged that the defendant, who was aged 15 at the time of the incident, had fatally stabbed eighteen-year-old Salum Kombo in the chest, following a perceived loss of face and insults traded over the social networking site Facebook.  He told police he had acted in self-defence.

The first witness was sworn in on Friday but did not give evidence. However, he, the jury, and legal counsel were shown the original taped police interview recorded with him two days after the incident.

In the interview the witness described how he was part of a group of six youths, in addition to the defendant, that gathered on the corner of the fish bar in the Knapp Road area in the early evening of Sunday 20 December 2009. They were joined by Salum Kombo shortly afterwards.

In this interview the boy said that the defendant and Salum Kombo walked away from the fish bar, ahead of the group that followed. He said Mr Kombo had his arm on the defendant’s shoulders while the defendant kept his hands in his pockets. The boy said:

“I heard a shout and I saw a boy with a knife”.

He said he saw Mr Kombo after he had been stabbed:

“He pulled his shirt out [from his chest] and looked shocked”.

In the police interview the witness said the defendant then began shouting and kicking the wall while repeating a variation of:

“I don’t care what happens” and “I don’t care what happens to me”.

The trial is expected to resume on Monday morning.

Stabbing after petty dispute on facebook

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