Emily Pennink, PA Old Bailey Correspondent
Fri, 17 March 2023 at 3:08 pm GMT
A teenager has been locked up for at least 15 years for the murder of a “quiet” and “popular” 17-year-old boy in a gang ride-out glorified in a drill rap video.
George Makia, 18, was found guilty of his role in the fatal stabbing of Bubacar Jabbie Dukureh who was killed metres from his home in Walthamstow, east London.
The victim, who was known as Buba, was stabbed in the chest and collapsed on his doorstep in a pool of blood after being attacked by five teenagers on the evening of October 23 2020.
Following an earlier trial, Samuel Bartley, 19, Jamal Dakissaga-Benitez, 19, Alfie Ferguson, 19, and Kaiyan Decordova, 20, were found guilty of murder.
Makia, who was 15 at the time, was not part of their trial because he was taken abroad by his family and only returned to the UK a week before it started.
The defendant from Walthamstow, who can be identified since turning 18, denied being involved but was found guilty of murder in January.
In victim impact statements, Baba’s “devastated” parents and siblings described him as a loving, friendly, popular, quiet young man.
His mother Haja Dukureh said the “vile killers” had not only taken Baba’s life but ruined that of his family by their “evil barbaric” acts.
She said: “We hope and pray justice for Baba will prevail.”
His brothers said: “We opened our front door and saw our little brother lying in his blood. Seeing him like this has been what we will remember – our brother lying in his blood
“This has had a huge impact on our lives and we are still grieving for what has happened to Baba.”
On Friday, Judge Anuja Dhir KC detained Makia for life with a minimum term of 15 years.
She told Makia: “Having heard the evidence at both trials I am sure that this was a professional, co-ordinated, planned ride-out – that was clear from your actions before during and after the killing.
“Bubacar Dukureh was not the intended target – he was just there. And together with the others in your group you killed him. Your victim was defenceless and unarmed.
“In my judgment it is clear all of you were working together. Whoever was carrying the knife or knives, you were acting in concert and as a team.”
Previously, prosecutor James Dawes KC told how the attackers were identified on CCTV, with two on bicycles and three on foot.
The attackers were associated with the Higham Hill or Priory Court Boys gang which was in rivalry with neighbouring gangs called Drive Marlowe, and St James or the Mali Boys.
Mr Dawes said: “It is the Crown’s case Buba had the appearance for them of a Mali Boy and that was sufficient to get him killed.”
Jurors were played a video clip set to a drill rap which was found on the phone belonging to the defendant Ferguson and focused on the victim’s address.
Mr Dawes said the video appeared to be “glorifying” the murder and was intended to be uploaded to the internet.
In mitigation, it was said Makia took no part in the making of the video by Ferguson.
The judge accepted that Ferguson had inflicted the fatal 12cm-deep wound and that Makia, while armed, did not take out his knife.