By JR on Saturday, August 06, 2011
Shaking hands in celebration on a bus, thugs who had just hunted down a schoolboy, 16, like a pack of animals and stabbed him to death
I wonder what they all have in common?
Leaning across the bus seat, these teenage killers shake hands in a sickening moment of self-congratulation. One is heard to say to another: ‘You’re the new young boss.’
Just half an hour earlier they had been among a vicious gang who hunted down a schoolboy ‘like a pack of wild dogs’ before knifing him to death.
The gang are now behind bars. They were jailed for a total of 74 years yesterday over the killing in broad daylight in a busy shopping street of 16-year-old Nicholas Pearton.
The teenager was pursued across a suburban park by his attackers, many of whom were still in their school uniform, before he was stabbed through the heart and collapsed in a shop doorway in front of his mother, Kim.
As the gang fled, they waved their knives in the air and shouted the name of the gang ‘triumphantly’.
Another member Joseph Appiah, then 15, carried out a head count to make sure none of the gang – known as Shanks and Guns (shanks being slang for knives) – had been arrested after the attack in Sydenham, South London, in May last year. Other gang members had abandoned an armoury of weapons including knives and wooden poles in the park.
Lamarr Gordon was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years for his role
Dale Green was identified as the person who did the stabbing
The Old Bailey heard that Nicholas, who was training to be a carpenter, was ‘in the eyes of his attackers’ involved with a rival gang, the Sydenham Boys. It was a rivalry, the court was told, fuelled by a threatening video posted on YouTube.
Yesterday the victim’s father Vince Pearton, 43, and mother Kim Whoolley, told of how their family had been torn apart by the death of their son. Lucy Kennedy, prosecuting, read an emotionally-charged statement from the parents.
In it, Mr Pearton said his son’s murder had ‘broken the chain that bonds our family together and we will be forever incomplete. Our loss and accompanying feeling of emptiness is an all-consuming and inescapable daily torment for us’.
The gang were all from South London and aged between 15 and 17 at the time of the attack. They were unmasked yesterday as judge Anthony Morris lifted a ban on reporting their names.
Passing sentence, the judge said the gang was responsible for the ‘senseless and tragic loss of a young life’. ‘This case involved gratuitous violence in public places, which seriously discourages law-abiding citizens from walking the streets,’ he said. ‘The group was like a pack of wild dogs hunting down its prey. ‘This was a particularly cowardly attack, as all the defendants knew he was alone and unarmed.’
Green, 17, of Catford, Gordon, 17, of Bromley, and Appiah, 16, described as a talented athlete of Lewisham, had denied murder but were convicted. They were all sentenced to life with Green jailed for a minimum 15 years, Gordon 14 years and Appiah 12 years.
Four others, Terell Clement, 18, of Deptford, Claude Gaha, 17, of Bromley, Edward Conteh, of Peckham, and Demar Brown, 16, of Hither Green, were jailed for a total of 33 years after being convicted of manslaughter.