Case: Facebook insults lead to teenage knife killing: Salum Kombo
Victim
Name:
Salum Kombo
Gender:
Male
Date:
2009-12-20
Nationality:
British
Weapon:
Knife
Killer
Name:
Boy, 15 b1994
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
British
Status: Solved
Categories: Teenage Victim
Case synopsis:

Eighteen year-old Salum Kombo was stabbed to death by his best friend after a pointless row on Facebook.

The pair had been described as 'like brothers' but fell out in the months before the murder.

In the summer of 2009, the younger boy - then aged 15 - tried to pull a knife after a fight at a football match.

The row continued with insults in the street and on their online profiles.

Prosecutor David Jeremy QC said: 'At one stage Salum called the teenager a pussy and that insult appears to have particularly incensed him.

'It was therefore a combination of a silly argument and his over sensitivity over his own dignity and status and willingness to carry a knife that led to the killing.'

On December 20, 2009, the 15 year-old boy and his friends met up in Devons Road, Bromley-by-Bow, east London, at around 6.30pm.

Before Salum arrived to join them, the younger boy was heard asking 'Shall I stab him?'

Perhaps in an attempt to settle the dispute, Salum asked his friend to walk with him towards a nearby basketball court.

Mr Jeremy said: 'As they walked along in front and without any warning the youth suddenly pulled out a knife from his pocket and stabbed Salum to the upper right chest.

'Salum had made no aggressive move towards him, they were simply walking along more or less side by side.'

Salum KomboSalum (pictured right) tried to run but collapsed only 100 metres away with blood pouring from the wound.

His attacker at first tried to follow, but was then seen lashing out a wall shouting: 'I'm not a pussy. Nobody calls me a pussy. I don't care if I go to jail.'

Mr Jeremy said: 'That was the pathetic reason as to why this terrible event happened, he wanted to show he wasn't a pussy.'

Salum died in the street despite the efforts of paramedics and doctors from the helicopter emergency service.

A post-mortem revealed the 8cm deep wound had passed through rib cartilage and struck the subclavian artery, causing huge blood loss.

Tower Hamlets College, where he was a student, now has an annual achievement award dedicated to his memory.

Giving evidence, the killer admitted arming himself with a knife before the meeting with Salum but claimed he acted in self defence.

He said: 'Obviously I had made him very angry and got him very annoyed. I thought I had gone too far. I felt like it was too late and I pissed him off.

'I looked at him. I couldn't really see his hand. When he stopped, he said ''What?'' as in ''so what do you want to do?''

'So for that split second I just quickly stabbed him. I stabbed him because I thought he was going to stab me, because I got him angry days before. I did something stupid.'

He was convicted of murder by an Old Bailey jury in May 2010 and jailed for life with a minimum of 14 years behind bars.

Judge Loraine-Smith, who refused to lift an order protecting the killer's identity, told him: 'This was not a decision you took on the spur of the moment.

'You thought about it for two of three days and worked yourself up into a cold fury.

'There was nothing brave about this. This was quite simply an act of cowardice, as so many stabbings are.'

 

The killer can be identified when he turns 18 in March 2012.

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