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Four caged for orphan's murder

PUBLISHED: 11:29 09 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:30 25 August 2010

FOUR young thugs who chased and stabbed an orphaned teenager to death in a park in broad daylight are facing life behind bars.

FOUR young thugs who chased and stabbed an orphaned teenager to death in a park in broad daylight are facing life behind bars.

The gang, who stabbed 15-old-year Sunday Essiet nine times in the back as he desperately tried to escape were found guilty at the Old Bailey on Monday.

Sikuru Doherty, 20, of Swetenham Walk, Woolwich, Miles Maddy, Adeniyi Oloyede, 19, and Ifedotun Gbadebo-Araoye, also 19, of The Heights, Charlton, chased Essiet, known as 'Baby', around a fenced-off football pitch in Plumstead on February 19 last year.

Despite his desperate pleas for his life, they stabbed him and he bled to death at the scene.

Eyewitness Ibrahim Ajidagba, who was robbed of his gold chain at knifepoint by Gbadebo-Araoye, said: "He was on the floor. They were just kicking and stamping.

"Someone was facing me, asking for my chain. Even when he asked for my chain I wasn't thinking about my chain, I was thinking about someone dying on the floor.

"A little kid is dead, a little boy."

The gang of killers wanted revenge after Essiet, of Cooper's Road, Southwark, had used an imitation gun to try and warn them off, following an incident which led to the arrest of his cousin.

Both Oloyede, nicknamed 'knifer', and Maddy, both of Corraline Walk, Thamesmead, were under supervision at the time of the killing following convictions for affray in November 2007.

They were part of a gang which attacked a man with a piece of wood in Woolwich.

The Old Bailey heard Essiet arrived from Nigeria in 2000 with his mother and sister, having lost his father two years earlier.

But he was orphaned when his mother fell seriously ill and died in 2003, leaving him to fend for himself.

He first moved in with family friends but when his sister moved in with her boyfriend, the youngster ended up flitting between hostels.

The gang will now be sentenced on May 15 after reports are prepared by the probation service.

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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