14 Year Old Girl Guilty Of Manslaughter

A 14-year-old girl who "set up" a schoolboy to be stabbed by her boyfriend after a row over football, was today facing a custodial sentence.

The girl was found guilty of the manslaughter of Junior Nkwelle, 15, along with her 17-year-old boyfriend.

The pair, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were remanded in custody at the Old Bailey to be sentenced on April 5. They were found not guilty of murder.

The court heard the girl called her then 16-year-old boyfriend to a housing estate in Brixton, south London, where he killed the keen footballer.

Junior and his friends had been playing football on a grassy area but the girl and her friends appeared to have taken offence.

The youngster was stabbed in the chest after the older boy arrived on a bus and started fighting with him.

He died on the makeshift pitch on the Loughborough estate in September last year, after the knife cut his heart and a lung.

Jonathan Turner, QC, prosecuting, said it was likely Junior and his killer did not know each other and there was no quarrel between them.

Mr Turner said:

"He (the defendant) had been telephoned by his girlfriend and told to come to the estate to teach Junior Nkwelle a lesson.

"There had been an argument between her friends and Junior's friends whilst the football was going on.

"She thought that Junior had insulted her or been less than respectful to her.

"She was very angry and determined that he should be punished - indeed stabbed - to put things right.

"She called up her boyfriend and was heard to tell Junior that she had arranged for somebody to come and stab him."

Mr Turner added:

"He (the defendant) was encouraged and requested by her to come and do this.

"Indeed, to use an old-fashioned phrase, was 'set-up' by her to do this."

Mr Turner said the children had been arguing earlier in the evening. It might have been because the boys were thought to be playing too close to flats or that the girls were walking over the pitch.

"Whatever it was, it seems to have been stupid and trivial and completely unnecessary," he added.

The girl did not give evidence but her boyfriend told the court he had instinctively stabbed Junior while they were scuffling.

Detective Chief Inspector Charles King said:

"The death of Junior Nkwelle illustrates the terrible consequences of what appears to be the casual acceptance that knives have a part to play in minor disputes between young people in some parts of our community.

"I also acknowledge the despair and devastation this act has had upon Junior's mother and brothers."

Junior's mother Stella said:

"I can only describe Junior as a kind, ambitious, humble, reliable, caring, friendly boy who always had a smile on his face.

"He was a fantastic footballer and a great student who loved school.

"He was a good son and a wonderful companion, brother and role model to his younger brothers.

"I feel in a daze, like this is a bad dream, and one day I will wake up and he will be there at home laughing and talking about football.

"Then I am hit by the sad reality and the pain is indescribable.

"It doesn't make any sense to me, and not having any answers makes it harder to understand and deal with.

"It happened so quickly and so close to our home. I didn't even know what was going on and I had no chance to help, or see him and say goodbye and tell him how much I love him because by the time I got to him my poor child had bled to death."