Teenager found guilty of James Hunter murder

James Hunter was stabbed to death in Sydenham. Pic: Met Police

James Hunter was stabbed to death in Sydenham. Pic: Met Police

A 17-year-old boy has been found guilty for the murder of James Hunter, who was stabbed in the heart as he tried to protect a friend from a revenge attack.

A jury at the Old Bailey jury have found the south Norwood teenager guilty, referred to as F due to his age, of the murder of Hunter, 18, from Sydenham.

Hunter was stabbed by to death while defending his 17-year-old friend who was attacked by a group of 5 boys by the Tasty Chicken shop on Wells Park Road, Sydenham on May 31, 2014.

F was also found guilty of wounding Hunter’s 17-year-old friend during the attack.

Three other 17-year-old boys, referred to as E, H and I, were also found guilty of wounding and found not guilty of Hunter’s murder.

The court heard that the murder came after weeks of tension that did not involve Hunter or those convicted in the case.

It stemmed from altercations between Hunter’s friend and 16-year-old J, who threatened to stab him and had contacted F and H to ask to lend him, or get someone to lend him a knife.

When the group of boys approached Hunter and his 17-year-old friend outside the chicken shop there was a verbal confrontation about alleged altercations with J, who was not present.

The group, armed with knives, attacked Hunter’s friend who then fell to the floor and was stabbed again.

Hunter intervened to defend his friend and was stabbed himself.

He collapsed and an ambulance was called, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Three of the five suspects, E, F and I, fled the scene using the 197 bus, but their conversations about what had happened were overheard and their actions after the events were caught on CCTV.

J had become aware of the attack and exchanged messages about it. Met up with E, while messaging a third party for advice for E about what to do next.

E, F, G, H and I were all arrested over the murder and subsequently charged over the course of June 1-5 last year, while J was arrested on October 4 and charged.

All six boys involved had denied the charges.

Sixteen year-old J was convicted of intentionally assisting or encouraging an offence and possession of an offensive weapon.

Another 17-year-old boy, G, who was on trial for murder and wounding was cleared of all charges.

The five teenagers will be sentenced on April 14.

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