Four young men are facing life sentences after being convicted of the “ferocious” gang murder of a Hackney teenager.
Marcel Addai, 17, from Hoxton, North London, was attacked and left for dead just metres from his front door.
An Old Bailey jury deliberated for more than 26 hours to find Sheku Jalloh, Rikell Rogers, Sodiq Adebayo and Momar Faye guilty of murder by a majority.
The court heard that on the evening of September 4 last year Addai was chased and then repeatedly stabbed and slashed in the chest and thigh.
Prosecutor Mark Heywood QC told jurors: “It was not one blow – they kept at their work until he was mortally injured, driving the knife or weapons into him, aiming for chest and thighs and so for vital vessels and organs.”
He said the “brutal and ferocious” murder was deliberately staged in front of the victim’s friends and neighbours.
The murder was linked to fierce rivalry between neighbouring gangs. Addai was connected with the Hackney borough street gang the Hoxton Boys whilst some of the defendants had known connections with the Fellows Court gang, also from Hackney.
The four men were all handcuffed in the dock and surrounded by police officers. Judge Rebecca Poulet QC had warned them to show respect to the court and remain quiet, but as they were convicted there were tears and gasps from the dock. One of the men shouted “seriously it’s a stitch up” and “I’m f***ing innocent”.
Three other defendants – Akeem Gbadamosi, Eugene Ocran and David Oladimeji – were cleared. As the convicted men were sent down one of the cleared defendants shouted out: “See you in the playground, bro” while another said: “So you are no more than a bad boy”.
The court heard how those convicted travelled in three cars to the estate where Addai lived with the intention of inflicting serious injuries to anyone who was present.
As they pulled up Mr Addai and his friends scattered. The victim tried to run away but was seen by a number of witnesses to fall to the ground and be cornered before being kicked, punched and stabbed by his attackers, as he lay balled up on the ground.
Police and the London Ambulance Service attended following reports of an assault, but Addai was pronounced dead at the scene at 11.47pm.
All the defendants denied murder.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Partridge of the Metropolitan Police Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: ”This was a targeted attack that required a level of planning.
“I want to praise those witnesses who had the courage to stand up and come forward with information in this case. It demonstrates that communities will not accept these violent attacks.
“This senseless violence has taken another young life and left a family devastated. Those convicted are now facing many years in prison.
“The Met is committed to tackling violent crime. With colleagues from the local boroughs and the Trident and Area Crime Command coming together, we are all working hard to remove violent offenders from the streets of the capital.”
Mr Addai’s Grandfather Matthew said in a statement: “We would like to thank all the police officers who put in so much effort to bring the killers to justice.
“One thing that struck me in court was the evidence given by the first officer on the scene that fateful day. He said the crowd who surrounded Marcel whilst he was on the floor dying were anti-police and he had to force his way through them to try and help Marcel.
“We are happy that justice has been served, but for us, it is part of the process of trying to move our youth away from crime.
“Our heart goes out to the families of the offenders. We pray that they will come out of prison reformed characters.
“We miss Marcel very much. He was not an angel but there was hope whilst he was alive. The love and the efforts of the family would have seen him through the dark patch he was going through.”
Judge Poulet remanded the convicted men in custody until the sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey on Tuesday May 17.