Case: Teenager stabbed in Walthamstow: Elijah Dornelly
Elijah Dornelly
Morgan Mockford
Status: Solved
Categories: Teenage Victim
Case synopsis:

Elijah Dornelly, 17, was stabbed to death in Walthamstow on 7 May 2017.

Police and paramedics were called to the High Street near the junction with Buxton Road at around 11.30pm.

Elijah died in hospital at 1.15am and a post-mortem confirmed the cause of death was a stab wound to the stomach which damaged a major blood vessel.

Detectives described the attack as 'targeted' and appealed for help identifying two suspects who fled the scene on bicycles.

On 16 May 2017 Esra Abeka-Soares, 18, (17.1.99) of Caxton Road, Southall, and Morgan Mockford, 17, of Randolph Road, Walthamstow, were charged with murder.

They went on trial at the Old Bailey on 6 November 2017. Both Abeka and Mockford were convicted of murder on 29 November 2017. They were both sentenced to the equivalent of life sentences on 4 December, with a minimum of 19 years for Abeka-Soares and 17 years for Mockford.

Morgan MockfordEzra Abeka

Killers Morgan Mockford and Ezra Abeka-Soares (right, hooded top)

The prosecution claimed the two suspects were both armed with knives and 'ambushed' Elijah as he and a friend walked in Walthamstow High Street.

CCTV camera footage showed them hiding behind a phone kiosk and waiting with their knives drawn for Elijah to walk down the street. Abeka tried to stab Elijah first before Mockford stabbed the teenager in the gut. Elijah's friend managed to escape unharmed.

The two suspects then roade off on bicycles as Elijah staggered to a nearby shisha café with his intestines protruding from the wound.

Abeka and Mockford then travelled to a nearby fast food restaurant where CCTV cameras captured them wearing the same distinctive branded clothing as the attackers. They were identified by local police officers and arrested at their homes on 15 May.

The court heard Abeka-Soares had six previous convictions for carrying knives between January 2015 and September 2016, while Mockford had one such conviction in November 2016.

Both suspects - who said they had been trying to sell drugs - claimed they were acting in self defence, fearing Elijah and his friend were armed with knives.

Judge Andrew Lees told them: 'The evidence of what happened is clear from the CCTV footage.

You are seen to draw up at a phone box. You then dismounted from your bicycles, concealed yourselves behind a phone kiosk, withdrew your knives and waited as they came up the street.

'I am sure they knew nothing of the ambush that was about to happen. They were just walking in the street.

'You both attacked Elijah. You Ezra Abeka-Soares deliberately lunged at him and missed. Morgan Mockford delivered one fatal blow to his stomach.

'I am sure you were the aggressors and Elijah and his friend did nothing at all to provoke this attack.

'It was you who were carrying knives. There is no question of any self defence. You both sought to suggest that Elijah was or may have been acting aggressively - I utterly reject that.

'You both have previous convictions for carrying knives.'

Detective Inspector Ian Lott, of the Met's Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: 'Elijah was ambushed in a sudden attack by these two defendants and in an instant the stab wound that would end his life was inflicted.

'This is another tragic reminder of the sad consequences of disaffected young people carrying and using knives, seemingly without a thought for the repercussions, and the lives being taken and ruined by senseless violence.

'Elijah's grieving family have acted with the utmost dignity since the murder and have shown immense bravery by attending the trial and facing the people responsible for Elijah's murder.'

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