15 March 2022

Teenager admits fatal stabbing at busy shopping centre

15 March 2022

A teenager has admitting stabbing a young man to death at a busy shopping centre.

Bhoniefas Rexson, 19, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to the manslaughter of 21-year-old Gedeon Ngwendema at Brent Cross shopping centre in north London.

The victim was fatally stabbed during a confrontation outside a JD Sports shop on the evening of May 4 last year.

He was attacked less than three minutes after arriving with a friend, prosecutor Caroline Carberry QC said.

She told the court: “Brent Cross centre has multiple cameras in place that capture the arrival of both parties.

The footage shows that the shopping centre was busy at that time with members of the public

“The footage shows that the shopping centre was busy at that time with members of the public.

“In respect of the meeting, there is no evidence to suggest the two young men knew one another but it is likely from what we see from the footage that they recognised each other and their meeting appears to be by chance.”

The victim received a single fatal wound during the “fast-moving and dynamic” incident, she said.

Immediately afterwards, Rexson ran back into JD Sports, the court heard.

Meanwhile, Mr Ngwendema stumbled towards Marks and Spencer and collapsed on the concourse.

He was heard by shoppers to say: “I’ve been duked (stabbed). Someone get me an ambulance.”

The victim had suffered a stab wound to the chest which pierced his heart and he died at the scene.

On being detained by security guards, Rexson claimed someone punched him so he punched back, saying it was a “case of mistaken identity”.

The court was told that the violence was gang-related.

Rexson, of Kingsbury, north-west London, had been due to go on trial at the Old Bailey for murder, before pleading guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Ms Carberry said the plea by reason of loss of control was accepted following “careful and anxious” consideration and consultation with the victim’s family.

She said: “It is accepted there is a fear by this defendant that he would be seriously hurt and that this defence is available to him.”

Judge Anthony Leonard QC said it was a matter for the Crown but expressed “deep reservations”.

He said: “I know about the gang background. I know the defendant went to the internet to look for an appropriate knife to have that day, that he must have bought it almost immediately before this attack.

“I have seen the CCTV and all that gives me grave reservations.”

He added: “To my mind, it ought to be tested by a jury.”

The judge adjourned sentencing until Wednesday.

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