Trial of five teenagers accused of Lord Promise Nkenda murder begins

Promise Nkenda was stabbed to death in Canning Town last night. Picture: Facebook.

Promise Nkenda was stabbed to death in Canning Town last night. Picture: Facebook. - Credit: Archant

A 17-year-old boy was mowed down by a gang of teenagers in a stolen car before they chased him and stabbed him 15 times in Canning Town, a court has heard.

Promise Nkenda was stabbed to death in Canning Town last night. Picture: Facebook.

Promise Nkenda was stabbed to death in Canning Town last night. Picture: Facebook. - Credit: Archant

Lord Promise Nkenda was walking along the pavement on Valentine’s Day when five people in a BMW accelerated towards him.

A jury of six men and six women at the Old Bailey heard today that Promise was struck by the car which had been stolen hours earlier.

The teenager got to his feet and fled but the car pursued him until he ran down an alleyway, when four people got out of the vehicle and gave chase.

The group caught him in Goldwing Close, where they stabbed him 15 times before getting back in the car and escaping.

Prosecutor Alan Kent QC told the Old Bailey that Promise was deliberately run down by a car containing Shemar Dawes, Ephraim Idris, Anton Muir, Ishaq Abdille and a 15-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Mr Kent added: “Promise was deliberately run down by a stolen car.

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“He managed to get up, having been run down by that stolen car and he ran.

“But he was chased by that car. He ran down a pathway, thinking that that would stop the chase.

“As Promise ran down the pathway in order to try to escape, the car stopped, four of the defendants got out of the car and chased him down that pathway and into a residential area where he was caught and stabbed.”

The court heard that Promise was repeatedly stabbed in the head, back and chest in the space of seconds.

He managed knock on a nearby door and the occupants raised the alarm.

But despite paramedics battling to save his life, he was pronounced dead at the scene at about 8.40pm.

Dawes, Idris, Muir, Abdille, now all aged 18, and a juvenile, who cannot be named for legal reasons, all deny one count of murder.

The jury was shown footage of the car striking Promise before chasing him through the streets.

Mr Kent told the court the car had been stolen by two black men hours before the attack on Mr Nkenda.

He said that although it was not known who was driving or who had stabbed the teenager, the group was acting together.

He added: “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.”

But he said it is still not known if the attack was a case of mistaken identity or if Promise was deliberately targeted.

Mr Kent added: “We don’t know the motive but what we do know was that Promise was killed and he was killed by the group of defendants.

“They each share responsibility for his death. They were clearly a party to a violent attack on him intending that he suffer at least serious harm or to kill 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 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.

Mr Kent said the knife had Promise’s DNA on it, while one of the gloves bore of Dawes’ DNA.

The prosecutor told jurors that the knife also fitted a sheath which was found near the attack and had Idris’s DNA on it.

After recovering the stolen car, police found a rucksack in the boot containing the juvenile’s Oyster card and drinks container with his DNA on it, the court heard.

Mr Kent added: “There’s not a huge amount of DNA in this case - it might be because they were wearing latex gloves and leaving very little if any DNA - but what little DNA evidence there is may be significant.

“On that sheath which was found in Goldwing Close was DNA matching that of Ephraim Idris.

“The sheath that contained the knife that was found next to the junction box where the gloves were recovered as well.

“On that knife, in addition to it fitting the sheath, there was DNA of Lord Promise Nkenda, the victim of this murder.”

The court heard that, after the attack, two men had ordered a taxi, with one being dropped near Stratford station and the other in Field Road.

Mr Kent said the call was made by Abdille and the address was his home.

All five were arrested and gave no-comment interviews, although Abdille gave police a prepared statement denying being part of the attack.

Mr Kent told the jury that Idris, Muir and the juvenile accept they were at the scene but deny murder.

He said Abdille and Dawes both deny any presence or involvement during the attack.

The trial continues.