Page last updated at 13:13 GMT, Friday, 20 February 2009

Eleven cleared of youth's murder

David Nowak
David Nowak was stabbed to death

Eleven youths have been cleared of murdering a 16-year-old boy who was stabbed in the back, after a judge threw out the case against them.

David Nowak was stabbed when a fight at a community centre in Stoke Newington, north London, spread on to the street in December 2007, the Old Bailey heard.

Eleven youths, from Stoke Newington and Hackney, denied murder and the attempted murder of his friend.

The judge said it was "not appropriate" to charge all 11 with David's murder.

Gavin Goupall, 21, Castro Paris, 20, and two 17-year-olds, who cannot be named due to their age, were also cleared of the attempted murder of David's friend and a charge of violent disorder. They walked free from court.

Gang dispute

The charge of attempted murder and violent disorder remains against Marlon Cyrus, 20, Courtney Bramble, 19, Dolovan Barzey, 19, and two 17-year-olds. All deny the charges.

Eric Sackey, 19, and a 17-year-old were cleared of attempted murder but their trial over a charge of violent disorder continues.

David's 16-year-old friend was cleared of the attempted murder of Mr Goupall, who was stabbed during the fight, but is still facing a charge of violent disorder.

The judge told the jury: "I have determined that, as a matter of law, it is not appropriate to consider the charge of murder against all 11 defendants and that they must each be found not guilty of murder."

Earlier the court heard David and his friend had been fighting members of a gang, called the Holly Street Boys, at the local community centre.

David was stabbed as he shut himself into a play area behind a gate to keep the rest of the gang at bay.

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