Jailed: Boy who stabbed teen, 17, to death behind Waitrose in 'county lines' row

David Harding
Contributor
Police search for evidence following the stabbing (PA)

A boy who stabbed a 17-year-old gangster in a row over county lines drug dealing has been found guilty of murder.

Ayub Hassan, known as A1, was fatally knifed in the heart behind a Waitrose supermarket in Kensington, west London, on March 7.

The 15-year-old attacker, who cannot be named, made off on a “Boris Bike” as a trainee nurse rushed in to help the stricken victim, the Old Bailey heard.

He has been jailed for at least 15 years.

The killing took place in front of a group of youths and was caught on graphic CCTV footage shown in court.

Prosecutor Anthony Orchard QC told jurors that none of the youngsters present had helped police in their investigation, or offered any explanation for what happened.

Victim Ayub Hassan (PA)

One of them was even caught on CCTV throwing the alleged murder weapon – a folding lock knife – into a nearby drain, where is was later recovered by police.

The youth who delivered the fatal wound denied murder, claiming he acted in self defence.

He told jurors he feared he was about to be stabbed by 12 World gang member Ayub for refusing to deal Class A drugs across county lines for him.

An Old Bailey jury found the defendant, now 16, guilty of murder by a majority of 11 to one.

The victim’s family wiped away tears as the verdict was delivered after five hours of deliberations.

The court heard how the defendant had been in trouble with police since he was aged just 14 – with convictions for common assault, dealing Class A drugs and possession of cannabis.

In January 2018 he was caught by an undercover police officer selling crack cocaine and heroin, which led to his conviction that October.

Giving evidence, the defendant said it led him to make a “positive decision” to stop selling Class A drugs, although he admitted breaching a community behaviour order.

Police in Lanfrey Place, West Kensington, London (PA)

He began selling cannabis but fell out with Ayub who claimed the takings were short and he was owed £50, jurors heard.

The defendant said: “He was counting money in a Cuckoo House (used for drug dealing). He pulled out a knife and stabbed me in my arm. It was a flick knife. I went against the wall. I grabbed my arm.”

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As he described the incident in court, the boy took off his suit jacket and rolled up his sleeve to show jurors a large scar on his arm.

He said he did not go to hospital and told his parents he was injured by someone who had tried to grab his jacket.

The boy said he stopped dealing in January, but Ayub told him he still owed money and had to sell class A drugs on county lines “to make it back”.

Flowers placed at the sight of Ayub's stabbing (PA)

The court heard Ayub had also punched another boy, aged around 13, who had refused to sell drugs for him.

The defendant told jurors Ayub threatened to stab him on March 6 and again on the day of the killing after he continued to resist him.

Despite calls for silence in the public gallery, the defendant’s mother called out: “The system is flawed. The system is of man not of god.”

Detective Inspector Steve Keogh, of Scotland Yard, said: “The defendant in this case came armed to cause significant violence and attacked Ayub when he was completely defenceless.

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