Page last updated at 17:26 GMT, Thursday, 18 March 2010

Man guilty of dog attack murder in south London

Oluwaseyi Ogunyemi
Oluwaseyi Ogunyemi was stabbed in the chest and abdomen

A man has been found guilty of murdering a 16-year-old boy who was mauled by dogs before being stabbed in a park in south London.

Chrisdian Johnson, 22, used his dog as a weapon on Oluwaseyi Ogunyemi before stabbing him in an attack in Stockwell last April, the Old Bailey heard.

Oluwaseyi was brought down by one of the dogs as he tried to jump over a fence. He was then stabbed six times.

Johnson's brother Shane, 20, was cleared of murder.

The murder was described in court as unique because dangerous dogs were used as weapons to savage their victims before they were knifed.

Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, told jurors: "At the time of the attack both dogs were unleashed, and chased and then brought down and savaged their victims, giving their human masters an advantage, enabling them then to access their victims in order to stab them with knives."

Chrisdian Johnson
Chrisdian Johnson used his dog as a weapon, then stabbed the victim

One witness said the behaviour of the youths in the attack was "vicious" and "mirrored the behaviour of a pack of wild animals", Mr Altman told jurors.

Johnson was arrested as he fled from the scene of the murder in Larkhall Park bare-chested and covered in blood.

New technology, used for the first time, proved by a billion-to-one probability that some of the blood came from his pit bull-mastiff crossbreed dog, Tyson, which had been knifed during the attack.

The rest was shown to come from the teenage murder victim.

Johnson, of South Lambeth, south London, had been allowed to keep the animal only when a court imposed strict conditions on his ownership in late 2007.

He was also convicted of the attempted murder of the victim's 17-year-old friend Hurui Hiyabu, said to have been lucky to survive after he was knifed nine times.

He didn't stand a chance
Det Insp Mick Norman

Det Insp Mick Norman said: "Seyi Ogunyemi was a young man of slight stature, suffering from Crohn's Disease.

"He was attacked by a dog released by Chrisdian Johnson and taken to the ground. While on the ground, he was stabbed where he lay. He didn't stand a chance."

He added: "The message I'd like to reinforce is that if a dog is used as a weapon, you will be caught, you will be prosecuted, and you will be convicted."

A third defendant, 18-year-old Darcy Menezes, of Studley Road, Clapham, south London, was cleared earlier during the trial.

Johnson was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on Friday.

A decision on whether to destroy the dogs has not yet been made.

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