Two teenagers convicted of murder following fatal stabbing
Two teenagers have been convicted following a fatal stabbing in Newham.
On Monday, 18 July - at the Old Bailey - the two 16-year-olds were found guilty of the murder of Fares Maatou, who was just 14, when he was killed.
They will be sentenced on Wednesday, 27 July.
Detective Chief Inspector Kelly Allen, said: “It is appalling that a then 15-year-old boy has gone out carrying a sword. To be armed with such a weapon suggests an intent; that he was prepared to hurt someone without any consideration for the outcome.
“Whilst our investigation found that another boy had a knife, the level of violence towards Fares – an entirely innocent victim who was not involved in the fight at all – was shocking and utterly unnecessary.
“Fares was just 14 years old when he was killed. He had his whole life in front of him, and that was cruelly taken away in horrific circumstances. My thoughts, and those of my team, remain with his loving family today, who will grieve his untimely loss for a very long time to come.”
Amira Maatou, said: "My 14-year-old brother’s murder trial is a place we never thought we would be. We don’t want to be here, we shouldn’t be here. But it is the last thing we can do for him. He remains in our hearts every day. He is as close to us as one can ever be, deep in our hearts. But physically, we’re left to visit his grave, where no child should be. I try to comfort my parents as they break down but there is nothing I can do to take that pain away.
"The actions of two people have left a mother and father without one of their children, siblings without a brother, and one less friend to many. He was the light of our house and what kept us all going, there hasn’t been a day where we haven’t spoken about him.
"How does someone you love so much go away just like that? There is only one victim and that is Fares.
"Everyone else has another chance at life except him. His story lives on through us, but he should have been able to write his own. April 23rd 2021, the day Fares was taken away, without us being given the chance to say goodbye."
Police were called at 15:56hrs on 23 April 2021 to reports of an assault on Barking Road, E16.
Officers attended with medics from the London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance. At the scene, they found Fares suffering from stab injuries.
Despite the best efforts of the emergency services, he was pronounced dead shortly after 16:30hrs. A post-mortem examination confirmed cause of death as a stab wound.
A murder investigation was launched, led by detectives from the Specialist Crime Command working alongside colleagues from the North East Command Unit.
Detectives immediately carried out a thorough review of CCTV footage in the area.
They quickly established that Fares had been riding an e-scooter along Barking Road with a friend who was on foot. As the two boys approached a shop, they were met by the defendants – who were just 15 years old at the time – and a fight ensued between them and Fares’ friend, who produced a knife.
One of the defendants was in possession of a ‘sword cane’ and despite Fares being a bystander, he was attacked and fell to the ground. As he was on the pavement, one of the defendants continued to strike him with the sword, whilst the other hit him with its sheath.
As he lay injured on the ground, the defendants fled, taking his e-scooter with them.
The teenager who used the sheath handed himself into police later that evening; the other boy was arrested three days later. They both claimed self-defence but were charged with murder.