Four teenager have been jailed for the murder of Lewis Blackman in February 2017 after a confrontation at a 16th birthday party in Kensington spiralled into a fatal street brawl.
Reporting restrictions were lifted today at court. Those jailed are:
[C] Lawrence Nkunku, 17 (30.04.01) of Ward Lane, E9 was sentenced to a life for murder with a minimum term of 18 years.
[E] Thierry Edusei, 16 (05.02.02) of Cannon Road, N17 was found guilty of manslaughter and jailed for 11 years.
[F] Paul Glasgow, 17 (08.05.01) of Warwick Grove, E5 was sentenced to a life for murder with a minimum term of 18 years.
[G] Demario Williams, 17 (27.12.01), of Bath Road, Enfield N9 was sentenced to a life for murder with a minimum term of 20 years.
Nkunku, Edusei, and Glasgow were convicted in October 2018. Their sentencings were timed to coincide with the sentencing of Williams.
Two other 18-year-old males [B] and [H] were found not guilty of murder.
The court heard that 19-year-old Lewis, of York Way in Camden, was fatally injured after he and a number of his associates attempted to gain access to a party that they had not been invited to in Kensington.
In the ensuing chaos Lewis, who was known to his friends as ‘Dotty’, was fatally stabbed when he was chased down in the street by a mob armed with weapons.
At around 03:20hrs on Sunday, 18 February two Met officers on patrol were responding to reports of a large number of vehicles in Logan Place, W8, following a nearby party, when they discovered a male suffering from stab injuries laying in the street.
The officers immediately administered first aid to Lewis prior to the arrival of the London Ambulance Service (LAS).
Despite the extensive efforts to save him, he was pronounced dead at the scene at 03:46hrs.
A post-mortem examination held on Monday, 19 February discovered that Lewis had suffered 13 stab wounds from various knives. Cause of death was recorded as stab wounds to the chest.
Detectives from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command immediately began an investigation.
It was established that on the evening prior to Lewis’ death, a girl had rented out a property in Earls Court Road as the venue for her 16th birthday party.
She had drawn up a guest list of around 50 people, careful to invite people she knew from the Hackney area as she was aware of tensions between some of those invited and other males from Camden. The invite however was posted on social media.
The teenager and the majority of her guests were at the party from around 00:40hrs, at which point there were no issues.
Between 02:00hrs and 03:00hrs however, a group of uninvited men, including Lewis, arrived at the property and began trying to get in.
They were refused entry and the front door was closed; one of the guests was heard to say ‘there’s boys outside causing trouble’, at which point the door was forced open and Lewis’ group gained access.
A panic ensued in which many attendees fled the apartment via front door and bedroom in a bid to escape an altercation between Lewis’ group and a number of attendees which then spilled outside onto the street.
Witnesses described seeing a group of around 10 men being chased by a larger group of around 20; members of both parties were reported to have been wearing hooded clothing and to have been armed with weapons, including poles and knives.
Lewis, who had been part of the smaller group, fell behind to confront his pursuers.
Apparently realising the perilousness of his situation he then attempted to make off again but was caught by a member of the chasing party wearing a light-coloured jacket, who stabbed him with significant force.
Lewis continued to run for another 20 or 30 yards before he collapsed, at which point several more members of the chasing group descended and brutally attacked Lewis, stabbing him multiple times as he lay helpless on the floor.
One of Lewis’ associates was armed with a BB gun; he went back to confront the group, who then fled towards Earls Court Road.
As Lewis lay dying, witnesses described hearing a number of people shouting ‘the boys from north got Dotty’.
Witnesses would later describe the group making off from the scene and appearing to be visibly excited by what had just happened.
As part of the investigation officers carried out CCTV enquiries and established a group of males making their way along Lexham Gardens, away from the scene of Lewis’ murder.
One of the males, wearing the same jacket as the person who was seen attacking Lewis, was spotted inspecting an injury to his forearm, for which he later sought treatment at a north London hospital at around 05:42hrs.
He was identified by investigating officers as [G]. He was arrested on 5 March on suspicion of murder and charged on 6 March. He was remanded in custody.
[C] and [E] were arrested and charged in February 2018 and remanded in custody.
[F] was arrested and bailed in February before being charged in March.
CCTV, telephone records and forensics all placed them at the scene of Lewis’ murder.
Throughout interview, all of the males, who are believed to be affiliated to a gang in Hackney, offered no comment answers in response to questioning.
The court heard that while Lewis was not believed to be a gang member himself, he was linked with gang members from the Camden area who were with him as they attempted to enter the party.
Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Mark Cranwell, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “There is no excuse for the violence that Lewis Blackman was subjected to.
“The group who attacked him, all of them teenage boys, acted with almost unimaginable ferocity by inflicting 14 stab wounds. To then be captured laughing and joking to themselves in apparent triumph as another young man lay bleeding to death is beyond comprehension.
“Now four young men will spend some of the best and most promising years of their lives in prison when they could have been doing something positive and productive. Lewis’ family have been left grieving for the loss of a young life taken far too soon.”