Santino Dymiter murder: Teens given life terms for 'savage' gang killing
Emily Pennink, PA
- Credit: Met Police
An Upminster man is one of two teenagers handed life sentences for the “savage” gang murder of an 18-year-old man who was hacked to death with machetes in Plaistow.
The defendants were aged just 14 and 16 when they set upon Santino Dymiter on the afternoon of August 26 2019.
Rahiem Anderson, aka Ramzy, and the other boy, now 16 and who cannot be named for legal reasons, were both wearing electronic tags at the time of the attack in Chadd Green.
Just weeks before, the pair were released from young offenders institutions having been convicted over a plot to kidnap, falsely imprison and blackmail a young man.
It was alleged that they were directed by others to do a “ride-out” in rival gang territory.
The defendants had denied murder but were convicted by a jury at the Old Bailey in February.
On Tuesday (April 6), Anderson, now 18, of Carlton Close, Upminster, was locked up for at least 18 years and three months.
The younger defendant was detained for a minimum term of 16 years.
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Judge Richard Marks QC said: “So far as the victim Santino Dymiter is concerned, he was no angel as the jury heard.
“But he was 18 years old and he had his whole life ahead of him. He did not deserve to die, still less in the circumstances in which he did.”
In a victim impact statement, mother Malgorzata Dymiter described how he had previously got in with the “wrong crowd”.
She said: “Unless you are a mother you cannot know what it feels like to lose a child but to lose a child through senseless and stupid violence is beyond words.”
Mr Dymiter’s girlfriend Sianie Smith said her “soulmate” and “forever best friend” had been smart and funny.
Before his death, he wanted to become a “model citizen” with “goals to achieve and adventures to complete”, she said.
In mitigation, the 16-year-old’s barrister Benjamin Aina QC said: “Another young boy has lost his life on the streets of our capital.
“The prosecution evidence you heard during the trial suggests a gang-related background, a ride-out in a car, the use of knives in a savage fashion on a young boy who sadly has died.”
He said it was a “complete mystery” how a “pleasant, charming and affable” boy was involved in “this type of savagery”.
Mr Aina highlighted his client’s age and immaturity and that he was easily influenced.
He added: “When these children, these young men, are put in an environment where there are positive influences, a little bit of discipline, they are ordinary children. They do not do anything other than what ordinary children do.”
During the trial, jurors had heard the killing was linked to the Beckton Boys gang, who had a long-running dispute with the Chadd Green gang, with whom the victim was associated.
At about 3.20pm on August 26 2019, the two teenagers arrived in Chadd Green in a stolen car, wearing black clothes and latex gloves, with their faces covered by bandanas.
Armed with machetes, they went for Mr Dymiter and an 18-year-old friend who took refuge in his nearby home.
Mr Dymiter was heard to scream “help me” as he suffered a succession of slashing and stabbing blows.
He collapsed on the pavement and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The getaway car, which was found abandoned, was linked to the two attackers by DNA and fingerprints, jurors heard.
The pair’s movements were also traced through their electronic tags.
Anderson made no comment to police but, while on remand at Cookham Wood Young Offenders’ Institution, was heard to brag about the killing to inmates.
The court heard Anderson also had previous convictions for possessing a large Rambo-style blade and folding lock knife.
Detective Chief Inspector Laurence Smith said: “The wound that killed Santino was struck with a machete into his back entering more than 12 centimetres and severing arteries.
“The attack on Santino was shocking not only in its ferocity but also in the amount, and the ineffectiveness, of the planning that had gone into it.
“Ultimately, a young man is dead and two people will now waste the best years of their lives in jail. There are no winners."