Harold Wood boy denies murdering former schoolmate in daylight bus attack

Highbury bus murder victim Derek Boateng

Highbury bus murder victim Derek Boateng - Credit: Archant

A juror broke down in tears as a court was shown CCTV footage of the moment a teenager stabbed a youth to death on a busy bus.

Derek Boateng died the following day, on his 16th birthday, the Old Bailey heard.

The 16-year-old defendant from Harold Wood, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies a charge of murder but has admitted he stabbed the teenager in the chest after boarding a crowded single-decker outside a school in Islington, north London, on April 23.

Opening the trial at the Old Bailey, prosecutor Tom Kark said it seemed there had been some “previous dispute” between the boys.

“The specific circumstances of that may not be very clear and may not matter very much,” he added.

“Whatever had gone on before, we say this act was a senseless act of violence. It resulted in the tragic and untimely death of a young boy.

“Furthermore is the sad fact that both the defendant and the victim Derek Boateng were carrying knives and both produced them.

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“But the prosecution suggest that it’s clear who was the aggressor in this incident, and that was the defendant.”

Mr Kark said CCTV footage from cameras on board the bus had captured much of the incident, although some of it was obscured by other passengers who looked on in shock as the attack unfolded moments after the defendant got on outside a school just after 3pm.

Jurors were shown clips from the footage, and the trial was halted for 10 minutes after one of them burst into tears.

The victim, from Hackney, had previously attended school with the defendant but was no longer a pupil there, the court heard.

Mr Kark said there appeared to be “immediate hostility” from the defendant as he boarded the bus and saw Derek sitting towards the back.

He told jurors he “aggressively” moved past other passengers towards the teenager and asked “something of the nature of ‘do you remember me?’”

Mr Kark said the defendant then produced what was described by witnesses as a six to eight inch kitchen knife from his clothes and was seen to push it towards Derek “two or three times”.

“There was panic, there was shouting and screaming on the bus as the passengers started to realise what was happening,” he said.

The barrister said Derek was “very much hemmed in” where he was sitting, but witnesses told of how he tried to move back towards the window in an attempt to get away from his attacker.

The youth has admitted stabbing Derek, but claims he was acting in self defence, the court heard.

Derek was taken to the Royal London Hospital in east London by air ambulance but died the following day.

The knife used to stab him was never recovered but his own weapon was found in his jacket, the court heard.

The trial was adjourned.