Five teenagers guilty of murdering Promise Nkenda in Valentine's Day attack
PUBLISHED: 16:59 21 December 2018 | UPDATED: 17:11 21 December 2018
A gang of teenagers have been found guilty of murdering a 17-year-old boy who was mown down in a stolen BMW then stabbed 15 times in a Valentine's Day attack.
Lord Promise Nkenda, known as Promise, was walking along Butchers Road, Canning Town, when the car was driven towards him.
He was knocked down but got up and ran along the road in the direction of Goldwing Close, pursued by four of the boys on foot into an alleyway where he was repeatedly stabbed in the head, back and chest.
In all, the chase and fatal stabbing took some 30 seconds before the defendants got back into the car and made their escape.
Paramedics battled to save his life but Promise was pronounced dead at the scene at about 8.40pm on Wednesday February 14.
It can now be revealed that Ephraim Idris had previously been cleared of the murder of another 17-year-old six months before he killed Promise.
Duran Kajiama died from a knife wound to his stomach as he walked with a friend in Dagenham on November 12, 2016.
A boy, then aged 17, was found guilty of Duran’s manslaughter following a trial last summer. Idris and another teenager were acquitted of both manslaughter and murder.
Prosecutor Alan Kent QC told the Old Bailey that Promise was deliberately run down by a car containing 18-year-olds Shemar Dawes of Hornsey, Anton Muir of Epping, Ishaq Abdille of Field Road, Forest Gate, Ephraim Idris of Dovehouse Mead, Barking, and a 15-year-old boy from Forest Gate who cannot be named for legal reasons.
The defendants, who were aged 14 and 17 at the time of the attack, denied murder and the alternative charge of manslaughter.
An Old Bailey jury deliberated for more than 25 hours to find them all guilty.
During the trial, Mr Kent said that although it was not known who was driving or who had stabbed Promise, the group was acting together.
“Promise was attacked by all of them. All of them were in the car when it was used deliberately as a weapon when it drove at Promise in an attempt clearly to cause him really serious harm.
“And when he, Promise, ran down that alleyway to try to avoid and escape from that car, four got out and chased him on foot.
“They assaulted Promise, chased him and stabbed him.
“He stood no chance against that car and equally he stood no chance against the four who chased him down the alleyway and stabbed him to death.”
The motive for the attack remained a mystery, although it was suggested it could have been a case of mistaken identity.
The court heard that the stolen BMW was found crashed, and a knife and pair of latex gloves were later discovered behind a nearby telephone junction box.
One of the gloves bore Dawes’ DNA and Idris’s DNA was found on the sheath of a knife used in the attack.
Four of the defendants were identified on CCTV footage, with Abdille caught on film attacking Promise with a blade, the prosecution alleged.
In their defence, the 15-year-old, Idris and Muir admitted being at the scene but denied knowing what was planned or involvement in the stabbing while Abdille and Dawes claimed they were at home.
Promise’s brother Patrick paid tribute to the teenager, saying: “Promise was the youngest of our family and everyone always sought to protect him, however, on the night that he died, we could not be there to protect him.
“We never have got to say goodbye to him, we never got to tell him how much we loved and cared for him.
“Promise was such a huge character our entire family has been hurt and affected by his absence, he is missed so very, very much.
“He was an entertainer, he would always try to look to lighten the mood of the room and would always look to be engaged with those around. He may not have been perfect, but he was ours.”
Speaking after the verdict was delivered, DCI Dave Whellams added: “Promise had his whole life ahead of him and wanted to pursue a career in the music industry. He stood no chance against the onslaught this group inflicted on him.
“The ages and determination of those involved - a boy who was 14 at the time of the attack and a group of other teenagers - is chilling.”
All five will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on February 4.