Hurled yoghurt pot led to stabbing at Westfield Stratford City, court hears

Liam Woodards, 24, died at Westfield Stratford City after he was stabbed in the chest.

Liam Woodards, 24, died at Westfield Stratford City after he was stabbed in the chest. - Credit: central news

A yoghurt pot sparked a rampage that saw a man stabbed to death in front of terrified shoppers at Westfield Stratford City, the Old Bailey heard today.

Nii-Azu Kojo-Smith, 18, was outraged when he was pelted with the makeshift missile by a member of a rival gang, it is alleged.

He knifed Liam Woodards, 24, of Stratford in the chest just because he happened to be stood close by, the court heard.

The two gangs - referred to in court only as Group A and Group B - met at the centre last June 29 when Mr Woodards was celebrating his birthday.

They initially traded insults but violence ensued, led by Danny Caton, 24.

The court heard one of the men to threw a glass, another threw a plastic yoghurt pot, and events escalated until the alleged killer “lunged forward” and plunged his blade into the chest of the unarmed victim.

Kojo-Smith then fled the scene.

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Woodards managed to walk around for several minutes before collapsing, dying at the scene shortly afterwards.

His gang then went after their rivals, managing to track down Michael Alvaranga, 24, and Javin Rigabie, 23, at the nearby Tube station.

Tony Caton, 21, and Rhys Regisford, 21, attacked with their belts while Jason Ndefo, 22, stabbed Alvaranga in the shoulder.

Kojo-Smith, of Hackney Wick denies murder.

Alvaranga, of Leytonstone; Rigabie, of Stratford; and Townsend, 21, Hither Green, deny violent disorder.

Legemah, of Plaistow; Vaughan, of West Ham; Oloyede, of Tilbury; and Tony Caton, of Stratford, deny the same charge.

Danny Caton; Ndefo, of Plaistow; and Regisford, of Plaistow, are among five others who have pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

The trial continues.