July 31 2014 Latest news:
Friday, April 4, 2014
A Hackney teenager has been convicted of murdering a man in a gang fight at Westfield Stratford City shopping centre.
Nii-Azu Kojo-Smith, 19, was accused of stabbing Liam Woodards, 24, during a brawl involving two rival groups on June 29, 2012, just weeks before the 2012 Olympic Games.
Following a three-month retrial at the Old Bailey, he was today found guilty of murder by a majority of 11 to 1.
The jury spent 67 hours over 13 days considering its verdict. Much of the evidence in the case came from CCTV footage.
Two co-defendants were also convicted of violent disorder.
Tony Caton, 22, was convicted of two counts relating to disorder inside the shopping centre and outside Stratford underground station, and Anselm Legemah, 19, was convicted of one count of violent disorder inside the shopping centre.
Five others were cleared of the same charge. Sentencing will take place on Monday.
The previous trial last July collapsed after nearly three months due to what was described as an “irretrievable breakdown” among the jurors.
Today, the judge, Richard Marks QC, commended the retrial jury, praising the time the jury took in its deliberations and the thought put into the verdicts.