Case: Shaquille Smith and the London Fields Boys
Victim
Name:
Shaquille Smith
Gender:
Male
Date:
2008-08-30
Nationality:
British
Weapon:
Knife
Killer
Name:
Leon Atwell
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
British
Killer
Name:
Godiowe Dufeal
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
British
Killer
Name:
Amisi Khama
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
British
Killer
Name:
George Amponsah
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
British
Killer
Name:
Freddie Amponsah
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
British
Killer
Name:
Kadeen Dias
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
British
Status: Solved
Categories: Gang, Teenage Victim
Case synopsis:

Shaquille Smith was killed by a rampaging youth gang known as the 'London Fields Boys' for no other reason than he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

He had been getting ready for the new school term when his friend Tyrell Goather knocked on the door at 11pm and asked him to come out for a walk with the dog.

Shaquille Smith - Murder VictimShaquille's mother, social worker Sandra Maitland-Smith, let him go because he had been well behaved that week.

She watched as they walked off towards the nearby park at St Thomas' Place, in Hackney, together with Shaquille's older sister.

Seconds later, the first members of the gang arrived on their bicycles and recognised Tyrell as the brother of one of their rivals.

One of them asked Tyrell 'you Pinky's brother?' and he replied 'yes'.

Godiowe Dufeal, known as Goodz, told him 'well you are getting it' and a fight started.

The gang confronted Shaquille Smith when he tried to protect his sister and stabbed him in the stomach. He died of blood loss in hospital the next morning.

Detectives identified the killers by studying CCTV footage of them cycling around the Hackney area looking for trouble.

Shaquille's sister, who was slashed in the face during the attack, was also able to name several of the gang.

Godiowe Dufeal had been released from prison just a week before the murder after serving a four year sentence for possessing a firearm. He also had previous for possessing knives, using disorderly behaviour and assaulting a police officer.

George Amponsah had previous convictions for affray, threatening behaviour, possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, possession of cannabis and common assault. His brother Freddie became a father while in prison.

Amisi Khama was a semi-professional footballer for Bishop Stortford FC in the Conference South division and Dias was described as a 'promising student.'

Sentencing them to life in prison, Judge David Paget QC told them: 'You were part of a gang of ten who went looking for trouble late at night. The CCTV footage shows the arrogance with which you rode on your way looking for trouble.

'Shaquille Smith, a 14 year-old boy, was a stranger to most of you. He had done absolutely nothing to cause offence of provoke any one of you. He was truly innocent and what is more is he was yards away from his front door.

'One of you stabbed him fatally and you ran away like the cowards you are back to London Fields. You arrived together as a gang and you left as a gang.

'It was completely unprovoked and completely unnecessary. It was mindless violence on a completely innocent young boy.

'You have taken away the life of a promising young boy aged 14 and have thrown away the chances of achieving anything in your own young lives.'

In July 2009, Godiowe Dufeal, then 20, and George Amponsah, 19, were told they would serve at least 18 years behind bars before being considered for parole.

Amisi Khama, 18, Leon 'Little' Atwell, 17, Kadeen 'Hidz' Dias, 17, and Freddie 'Chips' Amponsah, 17, were sentenced to a minimum of 15 years.

Killers clockwise from top left: Freddie Amponsah, Goerge Amponsah, Kadeen Dias, Godiowe Dufeal, Leon Atwell and Amisi Khama

Clockwise from top left: Freddie Amponsah, Goerge Amponsah, Kadeen Dias, Godiowe Dufeal, Leon Atwell and Amisi Khama

Sandra Maitland said after the case: 'A parent never expects their child to die before them, especially when they are taken away to rapidly, without warning, whose loss of life was a victim through the violent brutality of others.

'Everyday since Shaq's death, myself, his father, his siblings, extended family and friends feel lost, bewildered and tearful hoping that it is a bad dream and then we questioned why?'
 

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