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No winners in stabbing of Collier Row boy which destroyed two lives

PUBLISHED: 17:15 25 January 2017

The family of Charlie Kutyauripo (left to right) father Farai, brother Dennis, great aunt Monica and mother Matilda pause to look at the flowers outside the Ashton Playing Fields in Woodford Green east London where he died after being stabbed on January 9th as he was attending a female friend's 16th birthday party. Picture: John Stillwell/PA.

The family of Charlie Kutyauripo (left to right) father Farai, brother Dennis, great aunt Monica and mother Matilda pause to look at the flowers outside the Ashton Playing Fields in Woodford Green east London where he died after being stabbed on January 9th as he was attending a female friend's 16th birthday party. Picture: John Stillwell/PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

Just over a year on from that fateful night when Charlie Kutyauripo was stabbed to death, his family finally have justice.

Aaron Gaiete was sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment for the murder of Charlie Kutyauripo at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.Aaron Gaiete was sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment for the murder of Charlie Kutyauripo at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.

Today at the Old Bailey Judge Rebecca Poulet QC condemned Charlie’s murderer Aaron Gaiete to 14 years in prison.

After two trials, almost five weeks in court, countless witness statements and tears, Charlie’s father and mother, Farai and Matilda, of Collier Row, can try to move on.

At the time the 16-year-old’s death – the first fatal stabbing in London, in 2016 – caused shockwaves beyond Havering and Redbridge and became national news.

Various motives were served up for the argument between Charlie and Aaron, ranging from a tracksuit, to a girlfriend and Instagram.

Charlie Kutyauripo, 16, was murdered in Woodford Bridge. Photo: @MostAuthenticCharlie Kutyauripo, 16, was murdered in Woodford Bridge. Photo: @MostAuthentic

All were discussed over the two trials at the Old Bailey, and it seems we may never know the answer, although we do know that the pair used to be friends at King Solomon High School, in Barkingside.

“The defendant and Charlie did know each other, in fact they used to be very good friends,” explained prosecutor Louis Maybly QC.

Gaiete had even been to Charlie’s house.

But the pair had a bust-up at the end of 2015, and by January 9 Aaron Gaiete chose to go to a 16th birthday party armed with a serrated kitchen knife.

This was a decision which dramatically changed the course of so many lives.

Dressed in black, despite the party’s theme being white, Gaiete arrived at Ashton Playing Fields, in Woodford Bridge, at around 9.30pm with four friends who were not invited.

Within five minutes of his arrival he had plunged his knife into Charlie twice, first into his heart and second into his shoulder, while they were walking outside the sports centre. The whole incident was captured on CCTV, which Charlie’s family had to witness repeatedly in court.

And the real story is not whether the pair were arguing over a tracksuit but that two lives have been lost over this entirely avoidable incident – Charlie’s forever and Gaiete’s in prison.

Mr Mably picked up on this in court. “You squared up to each other, there was shouting ... he pushed you and you started walking away,” the prosecutor explained.

“There was something that Charlie didn’t know about?” Mr Mably asked.

Gaiete, of Norfolk Road, Seven Kings, replied: “The knife that I had in my pocket.”

In court he claimed he was acting in self-defence, but Mr Mably retorted: “You didn’t have to kill him, you didn’t have to stab him in the chest.”

Since Charlie’s death his family have campaigned for more awareness about the dangers of knives.

In February last year more than 150 people marched from Charlie’s school King Solomon, in Barkingside, to the place of his death chanting “lives not knives”.

Redbridge police cadets also made an anti-knife crime film after Charlie’s death.

Now the Kutyauripos can finally try to move on.


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