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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 November 2005, 14:00 GMT
Two jailed for gang attack murder
Sam Hallam and Bullabek Ringbiong
Hallam and Ringbiong were part of a 40-strong gang
Two men have been jailed for life for murdering a man who stepped in to save his friend from a gang attack.

Bullabek Ringbiong, 20, and Sam Hallam, 18, had tried to attack a teenager on St Luke's estate in central London's Clerkenwell, in October 2004.

But as the 40-strong gang armed with spiked bats and knives set upon him, the victim crawled free and his friend Essayas Kassahun waded in to help.

Mr Kassahun, 21, was stabbed in the head and died two days later.

'Totally disproportionate'

The Old Bailey heard the attack was a "totally disproportionate act of revenge", planned after a confrontation outside the Toffee Park Youth Club on the estate a few days earlier.

The gang, sometimes known as the Hoxton Biker Boys because they rode BMXs, had let it be known they were after Louis Colley, 19, because it was thought he had "stared down" one of the group.

Armed with baseball bats with spikes, knives, and dressed in hooded tops, dark clothes and scarves, they set upon Mr Colley.

It is especially sad when the best receive the worst in life
Judge Richard Hone

Prosecutor David Hatton QC told the court: "He was knocked to the ground.

"Happily for him, and possibly because there were so many people crowded round him, he was able to crawl out of the melee with little injury, and ran into a nearby shop.

"Another reason, no doubt, was because a friend of his, Essayas Kassahun, tried to save him. He, for his trouble, was attacked himself and stabbed to death."

Judge Richard Hone said: "It is especially sad when the best receive the worst in life."

Ringbiong was told he would be held in custody for at least 15 years, Hallam was ordered to be detained for a minimum of 12 years.

Another man, Scott White, 17, also from Hoxton, east London, was convicted of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm and was sentenced to eight years' youth detention.

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