15-year-old stabbed to death in 'act of revenge', teen held for organizing brutal gang attack

The 15-year-old was fatally stabbed as he walked home from school by an unnamed teenager who was convicted guilty of the crime

15-year-old stabbed to death in 'act of revenge', teen held for organizing brutal gang attack
Tamim Ian Habimana died of a single stab wound to his heart (Met Police)
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WOOLWICH, LONDON: A 15-year-old boy was fatally stabbed in the heart in a case of "revenge killing" by a teenager who was found guilty of the crime. Tamim Ian Habimana was attacked in Woolwich, southeast London, in July of last year, when he was travelling home from school; he died from a single heart wound.

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A group of young people were "bent on revenge" after one of the victim's friends, who is now 16 and cannot be named, carried out a stabbing in Dartford nine days earlier. An Old Bailey jury exonerated him of murder but found him guilty of manslaughter and injuring another youngster who was with Tamim.

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While two other teenagers, 15 and 16, were not found guilty of murder, they were found guilty of conspiring to commit violent disturbance and having a dangerous weapon. 

Danny Robinson, KC, prosecuting, told the court: “[The youths] went to Woolwich on 5 July 2021 to carry out a revenge attack for a stabbing committed by the second victim nine days earlier. The defendants' group were armed with weapons, and Tamim Ian Habimana was stabbed in the heart."

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“An off-duty police officer, Mhmuda Gumanach, saw what was happening and ran across the road to stop the fight. By coincidence, another police officer was also at the scene of the attack. The attack took place right in front of him, although it happened very quickly. He saw the umbrella stem and the knife being used as weapons during the attack. The defendants travelled to Woolwich that day with a purpose: to carry out an attack with weapons. The killer did not only stab the second victim once, but multiple times, continuing even when the knife had broken.”

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The five youngsters were seen on surveillance footage crossing Vincent Road near Woolwich Arsenal station. As the group sprinted towards the direction of Ian and his companions, it was seen that one of the boys was taking the metal stem off the umbrella he was holding. 

The victim tried to hide between two cars, but his assailants caught him. He was seen being stabbed in the chest on the video. Afterwards he managed to run a short distance before collapsing. 

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An ambulance was contacted by a member of the public, and trauma doctors were airlifted to the scene. Despite their best attempts, they were unable to save Ian, and he died just after 6 o'clock that day. More CCTV footage showed the attack on the second victim, who was surrounded and hit by the group with their fists and the umbrella stem. Ian's killer stabbed at him, hitting him once in the back before his knife broke.

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One of the suspects was discovered using a school computer the day after the murder to look up news articles about Ian's passing. He claimed he was interested in the incident because he "used to live in Woolwich" and had been at the movie theatre with pals when it happened during a meeting with the school.

The jury exonerated two other individuals, Daryl Bethel, 20, and Lewis Bollen, 18, from charges of murder, attempted murder and intentional wounding.
Before passing judgement on the murderer on December 2 and while reports are being written, Judge Mark Dennis remanded him in custody.

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