A gang of teens attacked seven people in a two hour knife rampage leaving two dead and another wounded, a court heard.
Abdikarim Hassan, 18, and Sadiq Aadam Mohammed, 20, were stabbed to death in Camden, north London, last February.
The pair were stabbed to death within two hours of each other on the same night – February 20 2018 as the gang cruised around in a van and car.
The seven teenagers are accused of unleashing a string of five separate attacks.
The group attended a vigil in a Camden housing estate earlier that night to mourn the death of “close friend” Lewis Blackman, who was stabbed to death in Earls Court, west London just two days before the violent frenzy, the Old Bailey was told.
All were charged with six counts, including two murder charges, violent disorder, assisting an offender, grievous bodily harm with intent and attempted grievous bodily harm.
Just minutes before Abdikarim was killed in Camden, another teenager, Hamsa Syed was knifed in Somers Town, close to Euston – but he survived his injuries, the court heard.
The defendants aged between 17 and 19 are also accused of attacking Yousef Ahmed who escaped the Euston knife attack uninjured and two unidentified victims in Hackney and Kentish Town who survived separate assaults.
Another victim, Sulieman Mohamud was attacked while walking down a road in Camden alongside knife victim Sadiq – but escaped injury by seeking refuge in a nearby shop, the jury was told.
Prosecutor Julian Evans said: “On the evening of Tuesday 20th February last year, a group of young men embarked upon a series of violent attacks across parts of central and east London.
“These attacks left two young men dead and another young man wounded.
“Members of the group who carried out this violence were armed with knives or other bladed weapons.
“Five incidents have been identified and roughly took place over a period of two hours.”
The jury heard Hamza Syed and Yusef Ahmed were the gang’s first victims and were attacked outside a block of flats close to Euston at 8.15pm.
It is believed four men – Isaiah Popoola, 19, Christian Thomas, 18, Anuoluwa Temenu, 18 and another masked man were inside a silver BMW when they spotted the victims.
Mr Evans said Thomas and Temenu jumped out of the vehicle, chased and attacked the victims with knives.
He said: “As they desperately tried to seek refuge in the block of flats, Hamza Syed and Yusuf Ahmed were attacked by the two men, each of whom used their weapons in thrusting and stabbing motions.
“The attack lasted a matter of seconds. Although short, it was sustained.
“In the course of the attack, Hamza Syed was stabbed in the upper body and suffered a wound to the middle of his back.
“Although serious, his injuries were successfully treated.
“His companion, Yusuf Ahmed, did not sustain any injury.”
Hamza was treated by paramedics at the scene for a 3cm knife wound in his back, the court heard.
The jury was told that the silver BMW, which Thomas and Temenu ran out of and returned to following the attack, was spotted by police officers just 15-minutes before the assault.
The second alleged attack took place 10-minutes later and less than one mile away in Camden.
Here Abdikarim was stabbed to death in a brutal 30 second attack – just moments after the same silver BMW drove past him in the street, prosecution argued.
Mr Evans said: “In the course of the attack, Abdikarim Hassan suffered severe bleeding injuries in the form of stab wounds to his chest and back from which he later died.
“It is not known how many people attacked him but what is clear, is that the attack was short and swift.”
The assault was not captured on CCTV but the car was caught on camera arriving and leaving the same street.
The injured victim collapsed in front of witnesses, moments after he asked a woman to call the police, Mr Evans said.
He said: “The same team of four who carried out the first incident using the silver BMW then carried out the second attack.
“From this car, at least one person must have emerged who then attacked and stabbed Abdikarim Hassan.”
The court heard that the car, which was covered with blood, was ditched at Peckwater Estate in Camden – the same place where the vigil was held earlier and located close to Popoola’s home.
Here the group is believed to have picked up Ben Drummond, 19, JJ Fatuga, 19, and two other boys in a dark blue Ford transit van – which is alleged to have been used in the later three attacks.
According to one witness, the gang were excitedly shouting their plans while they stopped to pick up their friends at the estate.
Mr Evans said: “The men appeared to be excited and some were jumping up and down.
“She heard someone in the group say words to the effect of, ‘let’s go Tottenham’ then ‘no, no, Hackney”, then, ‘yeah, let’s go Hackney.’
“At least three members of the group had face coverings on.
“The coverings were made up of thick material covering up to the bridge of the nose.
“Everyone within the group had their hoods up and they were all in dark clothing.”
He added that several men rushed into the van before it made its way to Hackney and dropped of Temenu before continuing the frenzied rampage.
It was later revealed by a witness that Popoola was the driver of the ford Transit van.
Around one hour after the first assault, two unidentified victims were confronted by the group of boys who emerged from the van, Mr Evans told the jury.
He said the van came to a halt and seven occupants armed with knives beat up an unidentified victim outside a Co-Op store in Hackney.
Another unidentified man was chased down a road by one of the van’s occupants in Kentish Town 40-minutes later, the court heard.
The fifth and final attack took place 15-minutes later close to Belsize Park – where Sadiq was walking down the street with friend, Sulieman Mohammed.
Mr Evans said the van dropped off two of the teenagers – Thomas and a 17-year-old, before it encountered the next two victims.
He said: “Four men emerged from the van who chased after Sadiq Mohammed and Suleiman Mohamud.
“Suleiman Mohamud managed to escape his pursuers by running into a neighbouring shop.
“He escaped unharmed.
“Sadly, Sadiq was not as fortunate. He was caught by the four men in and attacked there.”
It is alleged that Popoola, Drummond and two other boys were the attackers.
The court heard that Sadiq desperately tried to seek refuge in a parked car but the driver fled the vehicle because she thought she was being robbed.
The trio dragged him out of the stationary car and he was stabbed to death, the court heard.
Mr Evans said: “Sadiq Mohammed was attacked by all four men. In the seconds that followed he was repeatedly stabbed about his body.
“Although the attack was short it was violent and it was sustained. He suffered multiple stab wounds from which he later died.”
The court was told the attackers ran back into the van which drove past Sadiq’s body.
The van was then dumped at a housing estate car park in Kentish Town less than five minutes after Sadiq was stabbed, Mr Evans said.
It is believed two unidentified youths set fire to the transit van the following morning.
Mr Evans said the group returned to Peckwater estate – where the BMW believed to be used in the first two attacks was left – and stayed there until Popoola, Drummond, Fatuga and two others caught taxi in the early hours of the next morning.
The string of frenzied attacks took place hours after the friends created a shrine in the Camden housing estate in memory of Lewis Blackman who was killed outside Freddy Mercury’s house in West London just two days earlier, the court heard.
Mr Evans said: “It would appear that a number of the defendants were friends or associates of Lewis Blackman.
“Shortly after his death, a shrine was created at Peckwater Estate.
“Following his arrest and when interviewed, Popoola provided a prepared statement in which he said on the night of 20th February he had been at the Peckwater Estate attending a gathering to the mourn the death of the deceased which he described as his close childhood friend.
“Giving the events that took place on the evening of 20th February, the Peckwater Estate is a significant location for this case.”
An eighth teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has also been arrested on suspicion of murder and will appear in court in due course.
Wearing either black jumpers or white shirts with ties, the teenagers appeared as members of their families were sat apart from victims families.
Popoola, of Camden, north London, was charged five days after the deaths with two counts of murder, grievous bodily harm and attempted grievous bodily harm.
Drummond also of Camden was charged last March with the murder of Sadiq and violent disorder.
Thomas, also of Camden was charged last October with the murder of Abdikarim.
He also faced charges of grievous bodily harm with intent, attempted grievous bodily harm and violent disorder.
Fatuga, of Greenwich, south east London, was also charged last October with the murder of Sadiq and violent disorder.
Temenu, of Hackney was charged last September with the murder of Abdikarim, attempted grievous bodily harm and grievous bodily harm.
Two other boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have been charged for murder and assisting an offender, respectively.
The trial continues.
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