Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 October 2014

Jailed for 10 years: ruthless teen who led smitten lad to his death

A teenage girl who acted as a ‘honey trap’ to lure a smitten 16-year-old to his death at the hands of a love rival was locked up for a minimum of 10 years yesterday.

Samantha Joseph led lovestruck Shakilus Townsend into an ambush in a quiet cul-de-sac where he was beaten with baseball bats and stabbed six times.

The teenager bled to death after the “relentless and merciless attack” by a masked and hooded gang in Thornton Heath, south London, in July last year.

Joseph, who was 15 at the time, laughed as they caught up with him, walking away as they began their brutal assault.

Joseph’s older boyfriend, Danny McLean, plunged a knife into Shakilus's chest, raking it across his liver before twisting the blade.

Joseph (17), from Brockley, south London, was ordered to be detained for a minimum of 10 years.

As he lay bleeding to death, Shakilus, from Deptford, south east London, called out for his mother and cried: “I don't want to die.”

Judge Richard Hawkins told the gang: “You left him to die a lonely death, crying for his mother.”

Joseph, and McLean (18), from Thornton Heath, were found guilty of murder alongside five other youths in July.

They were all given life terms today as Shakilus's mother wept at the back of the court.

In a statement read to the court by a lawyer on her behalf, it read: “The reality that these young people with no souls had such a disregard for life that they deliberately conspired to use manipulation to cause nothing short of destruction is absolutely soul-destroying for me.

“They should never again be allowed to destroy another family. I may forgive them one day, but not today.”

McLean was ordered to serve a minimum 15 years' detention. Andre Thompson (17), from Norwood, south east London, was given a minimum 14-year term.

Former public schoolboy and London Irish rugby player Andre Johnson-Haynes (18), from Croydon, south London, brothers Tyrell Ellis (19), and Don-Carlos Ellis (18), of Thornton Heath, together with Michael Akinfenwa (18), from Norwood, were given minimum sentences of 12 years.

As the male defendants were led from the court, they began making defiant noises and were joined by their supporters in the public gallery.

The court heard that Shakilus was besotted with the girl and told his mother he wanted to marry her, but she told friends she was just using him and treated him like “s***”.

Detective Inspector Barney Ratcliffe said: “Knife crime will only end up in this sort of tragedy when a young lad is killed because he loves a girl — the wrong girl in this case.”

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