Page last updated at 13:39 GMT, Monday, 16 November 2009

Teenager jailed for knife murder

Stephen Lewis
Stephen Lewis, 15, was stabbed twice, once in the heart

A teenager who stabbed a 15-year-old boy to death outside a church hall in east London has been jailed for life.

Chris Mazekelua, 17, from east London, was told that he must serve at least 17 years in custody for killing Stephen Lewis in January.

Stephen was stabbed twice, once through the heart, during an incident in Plaistow, east London, the Old Bailey heard. He died later in hospital.

Mazekelua was found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey in October.

'Apparent glee'

Reporting restrictions that had banned Mazekelua from being identified because of his age were lifted by Judge Timothy Pontius.

Risassy Nyimbi, 18, from Victoria Docks, east London, was convicted of manslaughter and will be sentenced later.

The Old Bailey heard that police faced a wall of silence as youths at the scene denied seeing anything.

Hundreds had attended a "back-to-school"-themed youth event at the church in January, which ended early when gatecrashers arrived, the court heard.

Scene in Plaistow
Police officers searched the scene after the killing

During a subsequent row Stephen was surrounded by a group of youths, some of them shouting, "shank him", meaning "stab him".

Chris Mazekelua boasted of the murder with "apparent glee" after stabbing Stephen, the Old Bailey heard.

An anti-knife crime patrol that happened to be in the area was at the scene within seconds.

They found knives scattered over the floor but youths who were there told officers they had not seen anything.

Prosecuting, Richard Whittam QC said: "For whatever reason, there was a clear reluctance of some of those present to help the police."

I will never forgive them for what they have done to my son and my family
Stephen's mother Sharon Grant

A youth who was persuaded to give evidence named Stephen's killers in court.

Sentencing Mazekelua, Judge Timothy Pontius said Stephen's family had been "tragically robbed of a son, grandson, brother and nephew".

He said Mazekelua was responsible for at least one of the two stab wounds and said "the apparent glee" with which he later "boasted" about what he had done showed that at the time of the knifing he intended to kill.

Stephen's mother Sharon Grant said in a statement: "I will never forgive them for what they have done to my son and my family. They have shown no remorse."



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SEE ALSO
Youth guilty of church hall death
15 Oct 09 |  London
Teenagers deny church hall murder
15 Apr 09 |  London

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