Two teenagers have been convicted of murder and manslaughter for their part in the killing of another teenager Yusuf Mohamed in Shepherd’s Bush.
The unprovoked attack took place in June last year and the Old Bailey heard how the teenagers celebrated with a “fist bump” after stabbing Yusuf to death.
William Haines, 18, of Cobbold Road in Acton, and a 17-year-old from Hounslow, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were both convicted on Friday.
Haines was convicted of murder and possession of points and blades, and the 17-year-old of manslaughter and possession of a bladed article.
Detective Chief Inspector Rob Pack said: “This was a savage and callous attack where a young man was set upon in the street and lost his life in a matter of seconds.
“To this day, the motive for the killing is unclear. Both defendants clearly felt they could carry and use knives with impunity.
“That they congratulated themselves with a fist bump and smiles having so brutally taken a life is beyond comprehension.
“Today’s conviction brings justice for Yusuf and his family and, again, highlights the Met’s determination to tackle the scourge of knife crime.”
On June 26, 2019, 18-year-old Yusuf, from Hammersmith, was walking with friends along Uxbridge Road in Shepherd’s Bush.
Haines and the 17-year-old happened to be at a bus stop on Uxbridge Road when Yusuf walked by on the opposite side of the road.
For no apparent reason, the two crossed the road towards Yusuf, and as they reached the pavement, Haines took out a large knife.
Seeing the imminent attack, his friends ran off, but Yusuf did not appear to be aware of what was happening until it was too late.
Haines was the first to reach Yusuf; he had removed a knife from his waistband and he used it to stab Yusuf in the chest, with the knife entering his heart.
While Haines was attacking Yusuf, the 17-year-old took a knife from a rucksack and, even though Yusuf was seriously injured and had fallen on the floor into a shop’s doorway, he advanced on him.
Yusuf was trying to get away, desperately crawling backwards into the shop on his elbows, but the 17-year-old stabbed Yusuf in the thigh as he lay helpless and defenceless on the floor.
Both the attackers ran away, tucking their knives back out of sight, and as they did so, CCTV recorded them in Willow Vale giving each other a congratulatory “fist bump” to celebrate achieving what they had set out to do.
Police and the London Ambulance Service were called at 9.20pm, but despite all the efforts to save him, Yusuf died at the scene 43 minutes later.
A post-mortem found a stab wound to the upper left of Yusuf’s chest had gone through his heart to a depth of approximately 20 centimetres, and the stab wound to his right thigh was around 13 centimetres deep.
No reason for this horrific attack was ever found and there is no evidence to suggest that Yusuf had ever met his killers.
There was no argument, and Yusuf was not involved in gangs or criminality. He was not carrying a weapon.
After the attack Haines and the 17-year-old ran into nearby Wormholt Park, and a search by a police dog found a bag containing a knife.
After examination of the DNA found on the knife, it was linked to the 17-year-old and Yusuf.
Until shortly before the trial, both defendants denied their involvement, with each of their defence being ‘it’s not me, you’ve got the wrong man’.
But the 17-year-old admitted it was him on the CCTV and he pleaded guilty to possession of a knife and manslaughter on the first day of the trial on January 6.
The prosecution did not accept the guilty plea of manslaughter and so his trial went ahead.
On the first day of the trial, Haines admitted that it was him on the CCTV.
He admitted that he stabbed Yusuf but said he “could not remember it” because he’d “had a drink”.
The prosecution and the jury did not accept this and Haines was convicted of Yusuf’s murder.
Pictured top are William Haines, left, and Yusuf Mohamed