Life Sentences for Kodjo's Killers

Teenage murderers from W12 and W6 given 15 year sentences

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Left to right: Tirrell Davis, Brandon Richmond, Michael Williams, Jamel Bridgeman and Kurtis Yemoh

"I miss Kodjo and I will miss him forever"

The Police in Hammersmith

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Two teenage boys from Shepherd's Bush and Hammersmith have been given life sentences for the murder of 16-year-old schoolboy Kodjo Yenga.

Kodjo was stabbed in the heart in March last year in an attack by a teenage gang armed with knives and bats in Hammersmith Grove.

Tirrell Davis, 17, from Shepherd's Bush and Brandon Richmond, 14, from Hammersmith, were ordered to serve a maximum of 15 years after being found guilty of murder.

Three other gang members were given 10-year custodial sentences for manslaughter.

Michael Williams, 14, from West Kensington, Jamel Bridgeman, 15, from Shepherd's Bush and Kurtis Yemoh, 17, from Shepherd's Bush, were all convicted of manslaughter.

One member of the group, Kurtis Yemoh, had been in court just hours before Kodjo's murder.

Despite objections from police he had been given bail after his arrest for the theft of a bicycle and intimidation of a witness.

Kodjo was killed after he went into Hammersmith Grove when challenged to a fight.

He was then ambushed by the knife-weilding gang, who stabbed him and ran away as he lay dying in his 15-year-old girlfriend's arms. As passers-by tried to help, members of the gang ran away laughing.

Speaking outside the court on Friday (May 9) Det Supt Matthew Horne said: "Some of the boys were only 13 when they committed these crimes - children, only just teenagers.

"To their parents I would ask them this: what were your kids doing? Where did you think they were at the times these boys were so brutally killed?

"That's a message to all of us who are parents, we have to take some responsibility to ensure our children are brought up as honest and decent human beings."

The family have announced plans to launch the Kodjo Yenga Trust and Foundation to help disadvantaged young people go to university.

The trust will be launched with a concert in Kensington and Chelsea on Kodjo's birthday, 30 July.

May 12, 2008