Eight to Face Trial for Kodjo Stabbing
Hundreds line streets to mourn murdered teenager
Three male youths have at West London Youth Court accused of the murder of Kodjo Yenga. Two of them are aged 13, the other 14.
Another 15-year-old boy was originally charged with intimidation of a witness but this was also later changed to a murder charge.
This follows on from the appearance of four youths at West London Magistrates Court in March. Two of these accused were also aged 13 and the others were aged 15 and 16 respectively. They were all remanded in custody and appeared in court on May 17th.
The court appearances were followed two days afterwards by Kodjo's funeral. Hundreds of friends and family lined local streets as the funeral cortege made its way to St. Francis of Assisi Church for a service. Members of Kodjo's family made a plea for young people to provide evidence of knife crime to the police when they witnessed such incidents.
Seven youths were previously arrested in connection with the killing which took place in Hammersmith Grove on March 14th earlier this year. Police were called at to the scene with reports of a disturbance. When they arrived they found 16-year-old Kodjo suffering from a stab wound. He died later at Charing Cross Hospital.
A local shopkeeper told how he saw a gang of teenagers chasing the boy through the streets and heard shouts of "Kill him, kill him." Prior to the incident local residents reported that groups of youths were in the area. One group was seen chasing after the murdered boy who was walking with a Staffordshire bull terrier. After the stabbing the youths dispersed but five were arrested soon after at a house on Iffley Road.
The first four youths to be charged have been remanded into custody and are due to appear on June 15 when another four youths, including the younger brother of one of the four original youths, are set to join them in court charged with murder.
All eight defendants are due to attend a hearing on July 27 when a trial date will be set.
May 24, 2007