Two teenagers who chased a young man into a Brixton youth club before fatally stabbing him to death in front of children have been jailed.
Rishon Florant, 18 (16.09.01) of Peterborough Road, Waltham Forest, who was found guilty of murder on Tuesday, 3 September at the Old Bailey was sentenced today, Friday, 11 October at the same court to 18 years’ imprisonment.
Chibuzo Ukonu, 18 (26.02.01) of High Road, Loughton who was found guilty of manslaughter alongside Florant was also sentenced today, to 14 years' imprisonment.
The court heard that police were called at approximately 18:45hrs on Thursday, 21 February to reports of a stabbing inside Marcus Lipton Youth Centre on Minet Road, SW9.
Officers, the London Ambulance Service (LAS) and London’s Air Ambulance attended and found 23-year-old Glendon Spence – who was from Lewisham – suffering from stab wounds. Despite efforts to save him, Glendon sadly died at the scene at 19:27hrs.
A post-mortem examination took place at Greenwich Mortuary on Friday, 22 February and gave the cause of death as stab injuries to the thigh.
Homicide detectives from Specialist Crime Command investigated led by Detective Chief Inspector Richard Vandenbergh.
They reviewed CCTV footage of the incident which was captured on cameras located inside and outside the youth centre.
Officers established that both culprits arrived together inside a BMW which had only been purchased a few days earlier.
Glendon immediately sought refuge in the centre, which he knew well and had attended for a number of years.
Ukonu and Florant followed with large knives in open view. After Glendon was felled by a table tennis table, the duo launched their attack which lasted a number of seconds. Children as young as 10 were inside the youth club at the time.
Ukonu and the Florant then returned to the same car they arrived in and were driven off. The car was later found abandoned; an attempt had been made to set it alight.
Following a painstaking investigation involving forensic analysis, witness statements and the review of CCTV footage, police identified and went after the suspects.
The day after the attack, Florant was intent on leaving the UK via a flight bound for Uganda via Dubai. He was detained by police officers at the airport and was arrested on suspicion of murder.
On Wednesday, 27 February, police entered an address in Salford, Manchester. Ukonu was inside the address. He was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Both were subsequently charged with Glendon’s murder, remanded into custody before being convicted as above.
DCI Richard Vandenbergh of Specialist Crime said: “This was a premeditated and brutal attack and Glendon’s death underlines the vile nature of knife crime and the pain it inflicts of communities.
“Glendon was murdered in a youth club – a venue expected to be a place of safety where they can develop their skills and talents.
“The two males who burst in, each armed with large knives, turned that on its head with their actions which were sadly witnessed by so many other people.
“I would like to pay tribute to Glendon’s family for their dignity with which they have carried themselves throughout proceedings and we hope these sentences bring them some kind of closure.
“I would also like to thank the local community for their support and patience through the investigation. We endeavour to minimise the impact on witnesses following distressing incidents but we have a duty to the victims and their families in situations such as this, to collect evidence and investigate to the best of our abilities.
“I would also like to recognise the hard work and dedication of my investigation team who have worked tirelessly to piece together witness statements, forensic evidence and hours of CCTV footage against challenging timescales.”
Glendon’s parents said: “The killing of our fantastic and much loved son Glendon has shattered us as a family. There is no comfort anywhere and it is hard to accept what has happened.
“Our son was talented and he was unable to fulfil his aspirations to be a mechanic, not through any fault of his own but because of the evil act of these two men.
“Glendon did not know the perpetrators and he had no association with them whatsoever.
“Society will not tolerate what his killers did and we hope these sentences will allow them to recognise the evil they inflicted upon him by stabbing him to death for no reason.”
+ Efforts to identify and bring the driver of the BMW vehicle involved in this fatal stabbing are ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room on 020 8721 4961 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You can also tweet information to police via @MetCC.
To pass on information anonymously online young people can also visit the youth website "Fearless" www.fearless.org/en/give-info.