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Teens face jail over knife killing

Two teenage boys are facing jail after being convicted of killing a market trader in a row over a stolen watch.

Rashid Naeem, 29, was knifed in the chest during a struggle near his stall in Queen's Market in Green Street, east London, in February.

Following a trial, Karlton Burton, 15, who was responsible for inflicting the fatal wound, was found guilty of murder.

His friend, Javauntee Campbell, 16, who landed a punch on the victim, was convicted of manslaughter. A third defendant, aged 15, was cleared of murder.

Burton and Campbell, of east London, will be sentenced later by Richard Hone QC at the Old Bailey.

The judge, who allowed the youths to be publicly named after their conviction, said: "It is devastating how people aged 15 and 16 go out with knives and cause such terrible consequences."

Mr Naeem's family had been present throughout the trial and wept as the verdict was delivered in July.

The court heard how Mr Naeem and his brother were working on the stall which sells mobile phones and watches on the afternoon of Sunday, February 16.

At around 2.40pm, the three boys went to the stall and "started fiddling around with some of the objects", prosecutor Sean Larkin QC said.

Campbell took a watch from the stall and they walked off, before returning within a few minutes to a neighbouring stall.

Footage caught on CCTV showed that as the two brothers approached the defendants, Burton reached down to his ankle and got out a knife, concealing it in his jacket.

He said: "The two brothers are unarmed and they go over and ask for the watch back and there is a struggle, in the course of which...the deceased is stabbed in the chest."

The three defendants ran away but were spotted nearby around an hour later by emergency services attending the incident. The murder weapon has never been recovered.

Later, the boys met up again at Campbell's house where the 16-year-old said he confronted Burton about what had happened.

While giving evidence in his defence, Campbell said: "I asked him did you poke the guy? He said 'no I don't think so, it did not go in'."

He said he became "angry", adding: "I called him stupid and I told him why. I was shocked."

The jury was told Burton, who has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, did not dispute being responsible for stabbing Mr Naeem but was claiming lawful self defence.

But the prosecution said the defendants were all part of a joint enterprise and the other two provided strength in numbers.


From Belfast Telegraph