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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 December 2006, 14:06 GMT
Teens guilty of christening death
Zainab Kalokoh
Zainab Kalokoh was shot in the head as she held a baby

Four youths have been found guilty of killing a woman as she cradled her baby niece at a christening.

Zainab Kalokoh, 33, was shot in the head when robbers raided the party in Peckham, south London, in August 2005.

A 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty at the Old Bailey of murdering Mrs Kalokoh.

South Londoners Diamond Babamuboni, 17, his brother Timy, 15, and Jude Odigie, 16, were convicted of manslaughter. The four will be sentenced in February.

An order preventing the identification of the defendants was lifted for all but the murderer.

The father of the baby who was being christened has called for the return of the death penalty.

Alfred Sesay watched as Mrs Kalokoh was shot as she held his six-month old daughter.

He said: "The government must introduce capital punishment. You need to set an example that when you kill, you will be killed.

"If there was a death penalty, they would throw away their guns. At present it's just bang for a watch, bang for a mobile."

Brian Altman, prosecuting, said Mrs Kalokoh, who had fled war-torn Sierra Leone, had only recently arrived at the party to celebrate the christening of her niece, Adama Yalie.

Timy Babamuboni, Diamond Babamuboni and Jude Odigie

Mr Altman said the gang, armed with a sawn-off shotgun, a pistol and several knives, burst in through a fire exit shortly after 2200 BST.

They fired into the ceiling and the prosecution said a handgun was then discharged by another into Mrs Kalokoh's head.

Mr Altman said she fell to the floor, still clutching Adama, who "incredibly" was unharmed.

He said the gang, all of whom lived in Peckham, and who were wearing balaclavas, then ordered some of the 100 party guests to lie on the floor while they robbed them of their valuables.

The court was told Mr Sesay tried to chase the killers.

"I was going round to the fire doors to confront them. My partner tried to stop me and my watch loosened and fell off," Mr Sesay said.

"I tried to get away from her, but by the time I got there, they were already gone."

The aftermath of the fatal shooting at the christening party
In a blink of an eye a happy gathering had been transformed into a scene of utter terror
Prosecutor Brian Altman

Moments after making a speech he said he heard a bang and an armed gang crashed through the doors.

"I thought it was a light bulb exploding. The next thing I remember was Zainab was on the floor. When she fell, the baby fell with her," he said.

Mr Altman said: "People started to stampede. In a blink of an eye a happy gathering had been transformed into a scene of utter terror."

He added Mrs Kalokoh came to the UK to flee her native Sierra Leone "in the reasonable expectation that this country would provide her with a peaceful, violence-free life".

But he added: "She was tragically wrong.

"Her life ended in a dilapidated community hall where she and other guests had become targets of this gang of masked and hooded youths."

The four were also convicted of robbery and possession of a firearm at the time of committing an offence.

At the time of the murder the families of the Babamuboni brothers and Odigie were seeking refugee status but the Home Office has since turned down their application and they will be deported once their sentences have been served.




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A relative of Zainab Kalokoh explains what happened



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