"Cowards" who knifed to death New Addington Kelvin Chibueze teen jailed for life
Four men who knifed to death a teenager weeks before he was due to leave the country to start a new life in Nigeria have been sentenced to life in prison.
Kelvin Chibueze, 17, from New Addington, was stabbed in the heart after two armed groups of friends faced off in Arteflex Club in Ilford on August 15 last year.
His killers then chased him down as he tried to flee, beating him and knifing him again before leaving him to die in a nearby car park.
Lerone Boye, 26, Dale Williams, 21, Roger Damali, 31, and Hugo Nwankwo, 18, will spend at least 93 years behind bars in total after being sentenced at the Old Bailey on Thursday.
Boye, of Beckton, and Williams, of Dagenham, who judge John Bevan described as the ringleaders of the attack, will serve a minimum of 28 and 26 years respectively.
Damali, of Beckton, will spend at least 23 years behind bars and Nwankwo, from Barking, will serve at least 16.
Speaking after the trial, Kelvin's mother Tina said she felt justice had been done but criticised Kelvin's "cowardly" friends after they refused to reveal which of the attackers had dealt the fatal blow in their witness testimony.
She said: "Kelvin is not coming back but at least justice has been done. He was a good lad - he wasn't into violence or knives."
She added: "I was really disappointed that his so-called friends refused to say what had happened. They were not man enough. They are cowards."
Mrs Chibueze also revealed her final words to her son had been in anticipation of the family moving to her birthplace in Nigeria in a fortnight.
She said: "I spoke to him just before he went out and I told him to come back safe because I needed his passport for our travel forms.
"He was a nice lad and he was always telling me to calm down and not to worry."
Mr Bevan, sentencing Kelvin's killers, said he had been forced to treat all four as roughly equal as none was willing to reveal who had punctured the teenager's heart.
He added: "The veil of silence that has fallen over the main participants in this case speaks volumes for the cowardice and moral bankruptcy on both sides.
"Knives are a relatively modern phenomenon but one that is endemic amongst feckless, aimless youths who think nothing of using knives in the face of the provocation or insult."