Two boys, both 16, found guilty of murdering a 14-year-old schoolboy whose sword was hidden in a walking stick
Two teenagers have been found guilty of murdering a 14-year-old boy who was stabbed to death with a sword hidden in a walking stick.
Fares Maatou, 14, rode an e-scooter down Barking Road in Canning Town to the east Londonon Friday April 23 last year when he was confronted with two defendants, aged 14 and 15 at the time.
The jury heard that one of the defendants, now 16, whose name cannot be released, hit Fares’ friend with his fist before “grabbing” him and “delivering a punch”.
The younger of the two killers beat the aspiring engineer with the black metal stick used to hide a sword – secretly taken from his grandfather’s house.
The 15-year-old then lunged at Fares three times with the long blade, the first taking him down a single 11 cm wound on his shoulder blade that went through his chest wall and left lung before hitting his pulmonary artery.
The younger boy kept hitting him with the sheath of the sword stick. Fares tried to run away but slipped and the defendants continued to attack him.
Two teenagers have been found guilty of murdering 14-year-old boy Fares Maatou (pictured), who was stabbed to death with a sword hidden in a walking stick after he was confronted while riding an e-scooter along Barking Road in Canning Town, East London. on Friday, April 23, 2021
A friend of Fares then pulled out a small knife and lunged at one of the boys but did not injure him.
One of the convicted killers fled the scene on Fares’ electric scooter.
The teenager died in his blood-soaked school uniform after the horror incident outside Love Choco Cafe on April 23.
CCTV footage of the attack saw Fares retreating as the older youth swung the sword. Prosecutor Julian Evans QC said: “Fares didn’t hold up. He was completely unarmed.
‘Fare offered no threat at all [the first boy]who came at him armed with a sword, nor threatened him at all [the second boy]who now wore the scabbard and also moved towards Fares.
The younger of the two killers beat the aspiring engineer with the black metal stick used to conceal a sword – surreptitiously taken from his grandfather’s house (sword pictured).
The 15-year-old then fell on Fares three times with the long blade, the first leaving him a single 11cm wound to his shoulder blade, which went through his chest wall and left lung before hitting his pulmonary artery. The younger boy continued hitting him with the sheath of the sword stick (pictured, the scabbard)
Fares responded by raising both hands to his face and head to protect himself.
“As he, Fares, tried to flee, he turned [the defendants] and he, Fares, departed. Despite this action [the defendants] kept attacking him.’
The victim managed to get up momentarily when the attack stopped, but lost his footing again and crashed into a parked car nearby.
Mr Evans said the gun would “look like a walking stick” to passers-by.
The two accused, now 16, denied the murder and claimed they acted in self-defense.
After his arrest, the boy wielding the sword told police that he carried the sword that day because he feared for his life.
The court heard he claimed to have been stabbed recently by someone with ties to Fares’ friend and thought Fares’ was carrying a knife.
Friends and family left gifts of flowers and balloons outside the scene on Barking Road. The teenager died in his blood-soaked school uniform after the horror incident outside Love Choco Cafe on April 23 last year
The second alleged attacker also claimed to have acted in self-defense, the court heard.
But the prosecutor said: “The fares posed no threat to them at all. He was unarmed. He showed no aggression towards them. He didn’t do anything to threaten her.”
A jury at the Old Bailey began deliberating last Tuesday and returned guilty verdicts for both defendants on Monday afternoon.
Because of their young age, none of the accused could be named.
Judge Sarah Munro QC adjourned the verdict and remanded the juveniles.