A pair of teenagers murdered two people and wounded another in a night of carnage by a knife gang in London, a court heard.
Isaiah Popoola and Ben Drummond, both 18, were part of an eight-strong group who launched five attacks in just two hours on February 20, it is alleged.
Business student Abdikarim Hassan, 17, was the first to be murdered when men pounced from a BMW and repeatedly stabbed him in the street, it is alleged.
Trainee accountant Sadiq Mohamed, 20, was the second to die as he “frantically tried to seek refuge” in a parked car as he fled the gang.
But was dragged to the ground and knifed to death, the Old Bailey was told.
Popoola is charged with both murders murders, one count of wounding with intent, another of attempted wounding with intent and one count of violent disorder.
Drummond is charged with the murder of Mr Mohamed and one count of violent disorder.
Prosecutor Julian Evans said the violence first started in Somers Town, north west London, at about 8.15pm, when two men got out of a silver BMW 3 Series and attacked two men at a housing estate.
Mr Evans said one was stabbed in the upper back but the other was unharmed,
He said: “The two men using their weapons in thrusting and stabbing motions. The attack lasted a matter of seconds. Though short, it was sustained.”
Mr Hassan was murdered in nearby Kentish Town just eight minutes later, the court heard.
Mr Evans said: “Abdikarim Hassan was walking along Bartholomew Road on his own.
“Moments after he passed the view from a CCTV camera, a silver coloured car drove along that same road, heading in his direction.
“From the CCTV footage it appears that the car pulled over towards the same side of the road that Abdikarim Hassan had been walking on.
“There Abdikarim Hassan was attacked and he was stabbed.
“The attack itself was not captured on CCTV and there are no witnesses to the attack.
“From the CCTV footage it would appear that the attack itself was very quick.”
The car was seen leaving 30 seconds later while Mr Hassan lay dying in the street, the prosecutor said.
At 9.18pm a blue Ford Transit van carrying a gang of seven men who targetted rivals in Hackney, the prosecutor said.
He told the jury: “Each of those seven men who emerged from that dark blue van was armed with a knife or some other bladed weapon.
“Having left the van, all seven men rushed towards another group of men who had been standing outside the Co-op store.
“As the men from the van ran towards the other group, members of the other group ran away, save for one who remained outside.”
The victim, who was punched and kicked, was never identified, the court heard.
The fourth incident happened at about 10pm when the van was used to target more victims in a stationary car, but they were able to flee.
Sadiq Mohamed was then set upon at about 10.15pm in Camden, Mr Evans said.
He said Mr Mohamed and another man were stood in the street when the Transit van pulled up and a gang of armed men “emerged and began to chase” them.
One of the men managed to escape but Mr Mohamed “was not so fortunate”, the prosecutor said.
He told the jury: “He was chased by four men, each of them was armed with a knife or a bladed weapon.”
Mr Mohamed “frantically tried to seek refuge” in a parked car, the jury was told.
Mr Evans said: “He got into the back of that car and in desperation told the driver to ‘go, go, drive, drive’.
“But the driver got out of her car fearing she was being robbed. The four men who had been chasing Sadiq then converged on the car.”
He was dragged out to the ground and attacked, the prosecutor adding: “In the seconds that followed he was repeatedly stabbed about his body.
“The attack was short but it was sustained. The attackers then turned and ran away.”
On the night of the carnage an unmarked police car saw the BMW shortly before the first attack was launched, Mr Evans said.
He said they saw it again later in the night with four black males all with their faces “partially covered.”
The van was found burnt out the next day while the BMW was found two days later near to where Popoola lived.
It still had the same registration spotted by the police patrol, its key was found outside the building where Popoola lived in, blood matching Mr Hassan’s DNA was found on the car and a black face covering found in the car had Popoola’s DNA on it, the court heard.
Mr Evans said Popoola was involved in the first, second, third and fifth incidents.
Referring to the third, Mr Evans said: “CCTV footage shows a male wearing what’s described as a parka-style jacket and this male has been referred to as suspect five.
“That suspect got out of the car in the company of six others and it’s clear from the footage that suspect was armed.”
Referring to the fifth, he said: “Footage shows that a male wearing a parka style jacket chase the victim.
“Suspect five was clearly armed and took part in the attack on Sadiq Mohamed.”
He said Popoola was identified as suspect five and a similar parka was found at his house after he was arrested.
Mr Evans said Mr Mohamed’s DNA was also found on a pair of bloodstained trainers at the house.
He said: “Mr Popoola was at the very least one of the men inside the blue van during that course of incidents three, four and five.
“This being the vehicle that drove a group of armed men around parts of London.”
Drummond has been charged in relation to incidents three and five, he said.
He added: “Mr Drummond is at least contender for the male described in CCTV footage suspect six.
“Ben Drummond was at the very least one of the men inside the van.”
Drummond was also found in possession of a phone linked to the attacks, he said.
Mr Evans added: “The pattern of use in respect of that telephone is at least consistent with the telephone being inside the van during the course of the evening.”
The trial continues.
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