Teen and man, 21, face jail for Halloween murder in Croydon

9 November 2017, 17:51

A man and a teenager are facing life sentences after being found guilty of the murder of a 22-year-old in a London park on Halloween last year.

Jahliel Rose, 21, and the 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were both found guilty of the murder of part-time student Scotty Kouebitra following a trial at the Old Bailey.

Mr Kouebitra had been setting off fireworks in St George's Field in Croydon, south London, when he and his friends were chased by as many as eight men wearing balaclavas and brandishing weapons including screwdrivers, blades and baseball bats on October 31 2016.

The 22-year-old was stabbed with a knife in his neck, chest and arm, and collapsed in a pool of blood in a garden. He was pronounced dead that evening.

CCTV footage showed Mr Kouebitra backing away from an unidentified figure, who lunged at him with a large knife.

Two of his friends were also badly hurt during the rampage, which lasted no more than a few minutes, with one victim needing 50 stitches after being stabbed in the stomach.

Both Rose and the teenager were convicted of murder, as well as wounding with intent.

Aaron Jackson, 26, of South Norwood, and Marcus Asemota, 23, of Bromley, were cleared of all charges.

The teenager was on a tag at the time of Mr Kouebitra's murder, for his role in a plot to steal mopeds.

His sensor showed police he did not return home on the night of the killing, and a blood splatter on his snood indicated he was close to the victim when he was stabbed.

He had claimed he was dealing drugs in the park and had been in Mr Jackson's car when the trouble broke out.

Rose told police he had been trick or treating, and then claimed had never left Mr Jackson's car.

Mr Kouebitra's parents, brother and sister attended court during the trial and quietly exclaimed "yes" as the teenager was found guilty of murder.

Detective Chief Inspector Sam Price, of Scotland Yard, said: "Scotty and his friends were not involved with gangs and it seems that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, with devastating consequences.

"Tragedies like this are hard to comprehend and are totally devastating for the families of the victims."

The teenager and Rose will be sentenced on Wednesday.