Gangsters locked up for ‘brazen’ knife murder in front of child
Three gangsters have been locked up for life for the “brazen” murder of a kind and caring man in front of a six-year-old girl.
The child in pink roller skates was sent flying outside a shop as Joshua White, 29, ran away from the masked attackers.
CCTV footage showed Mr White paused to check on the girl before attempting to take refuge inside the store in Hackney north-east London.
But Theo Momodu, 18, and Taylar Isaac, 20, closed in on him in a pincer movement with David Kerrigan, 20, close behind.
Momodu then stabbed Mr White three times in the back with a 2ft-long red-tinted Zombie sword.
Isaac delivered a fatal wound to the chest with a large knife, jurors heard.
Minutes later, the three Stokey16 gang members targeted a second man, who was walking with his partner pushing a baby in a pram.
The planned “ride-out” on April 26 2019 came after Momodu received a text from a senior gang member telling him to get some “notches on your blade” or be “de-recruited”.
Mr White was not believed to have been specifically targeted as he had no gang affiliations and was about to start a job as a train driver.
Following an Old Bailey trial, Isaac and Kerrigan were found guilty of murder, a charge which Momodu had admitted to.
On Thursday, Momodu was locked up for life with a minimum term of 18 years while Kerrigan and Isaac received life sentences of at least 25 years.
All three men, from Hackney, were also convicted of wounding the second victim with intent.
Judge Philip Katz QC sentenced Momodu to nine years and Kerrigan and Isaac to 12 years for the wounding offence to run concurrently.
He said: “Joshua White, unarmed and defenceless, was fatally stabbed in the most horrifying and very public way.
“Minutes later, Joshua’s murderers stabbed another man, Rikkardo Butler, in a similarly public way. Luckily he survived.
“These were brazen, gang-related knife attacks in broad daylight and both in the presence of children.
“Those who participate in this kind of savagery on the streets of London must take the consequences.
“The general inference I draw to a criminal standard is that events of April 26 amounted to you all gaining your stripes as gang members prepared and willing to use potentially lethal violence.”
Mr White’s mother Trisha Sargusingh described him as “kind, loving, happy and caring”, a “loyal friend” and “sensitive and humble man”.
In a victim impact statement, she said the loss of her son had left a “hole in my heart”.
The father of the girl who witnessed the killing said in a statement that his daughter would be “forever scarred” by what happened.
He added that he was left feeling “upset, paranoid and fearful”, constantly looking over his shoulder.
The court had heard how the attack on Mr White happened on the afternoon of April 26 2019 outside Frampton Foods.
The six-year-old girl, who was unhurt in the incident, had been waiting for her father who had been buying coffee inside the shop.
Police had been alerted by members of the public as the attackers made off in a white Ford car.
Minutes later, Rikkardo Butler was targeted as he walked with his partner, pushing a baby in a pram nearby, juror heard.
He ran away, having suffered superficial stab wounds, the court heard.
The attackers’ car was driven off at high speed, pursued by an armed police vehicle.
The Ford was caught on police dashcam footage crashing into parked vehicles before the men made off on foot, with Kerrigan and Isaac still holding knives.
Two more Zombie blades were recovered from the wreckage.
Momodu was apprehended by police, while the others made their way to a friend’s home, where they changed their clothes.
Kerrigan and Isaac both denied being members of a gang.
Giving evidence, Kerrigan admitted being at the scene of Mr White’s killing but claimed to know nothing of the attack plan.
Kerrigan had a previous conviction for a public order offence in 2018 in which he was heard to threaten to stab someone.
Both Kerrigan and Momodu denied getting out of the car when Mr Butler was attacked.