Gang accused over Beckton death

A PARTYGOER who was stabbed to death when tensions between two rival groups erupted into violence died over a “silly beef”, a court has heard.

David Cauchi-Lechmere, 20, was stabbed four times in the chest by armed youths, jurors heard.

He underwent emergency surgery in the street in a desperate attempt to save his life but died from his wounds in hospital on July 11 last year.

The Old Bailey heard trouble erupted at a birthday party in Henry Addlington Close, Beckton.

The attackers were chased away from the party by Mr Cauchi-Lechmere and his friends, it is alleged, so decided to get “tooled up” and seek revenge, it is said.

The nine men were said to be part of a “Beckton group”, while the victim and his friends were from nearby Bow.

Jurors on Wednesday watched a taped of interview of evidence from Carl Wallace, 21, who spoke to police shortly after the stabbing.

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He named Meshach Francis as the knifeman and claimed some of the gang had turned up on his doorstep prior to the stabbing asking for weapons.

Explaining why he refused to give them weapons, Mr Wallace said: “If you can’t fight with your fists then don’t fight. It was a silly beef, I cannot believe a guy died.”

A few hours later, Mr Wallace told the female police officer interviewing him that he saw Francis returning.

“He went down and he done his thing, and then I see him,” he described. “He said: ‘I shanked that man up. I stabbed him but I think he is dead’.”

Iyoula and Losimba Yfeko, both of Derifall Close; Lewis Wilson, of Oxleas; Matthew Ginesi, of Oxleas; Jerome Taylor, of Oxleas; Tobi Egunjobi, of Tunnan Leys; Nathan Jones, of Downings; and Francis, of Winsor Terrace, all Beckton; and Junior Emmanuel, of Covelees Wall, East Ham; deny murder.

All of the defendants, with the exception of Jones, deny violent disorder. The trial continues.