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Friday, 17 August 2018

Man jailed for life over murder of popular youth worker in North London

Written by Helen William

A 21 year-old man has been jailed for life for the murder of a youth worker who was stabbed to death after an armed gang deliberately crashed into his car.

Kwabena Nelson, 22, a popular youth worker from a large loving family, died after he was ambushed in a "inhuman, savage and animalistic" attack in Kemble Road, Tottenham, in north London, in the early hours of February 3, the Old Bailey heard.

Neron Quartey, of Wood Green, north London, who drove a black Honda Civic that rammed Mr Nelson's grey car of the same make, was sentenced to life imprisonment and told he must serve at least 26 years.

A jury took eight hours and 29 minutes to find him guilty of murder.

Quartey remained quiet in the dock as judge Anne Molyneux told him: "An eyewitness described the violence as inhuman, savage and animalistic. You showed no humanity.

"Mr Nelson (pictured) curled into a ball and put his arms up to save himself. He could not. His last scream was chilling and then you stopped and ran away. The incident was fast moving, lasting between 45 seconds and a minute."

Quartey, who had spent the day in regular telephone contact with two of his friends who were drug dealers, was in the car with "at least three others, perhaps as many as four or five" and they all seemed to have some sort of bar or metal in their hands, the judge said.

They came out of the car "chanting aggressively" and swarmed upon Mr Nelson's vehicle and dragged him out as he tried to run away.

They attacked him with at least two knives while he was on the ground and had no chance of escape.

Mr Nelson died at the scene shortly before 3am despite the hour-long efforts of emergency medical staff, including a doctor who opened his chest to try and massage his heart, the court heard.

After the gang fled, Mr Nelson managed to call emergency services and knock on the door of a house.

He also managed to contact his brother's partner, who rushed to the scene along with his brother, where they found him dying, the court heard.

A post-mortem examination found he had suffered 14 incised injuries from sharp-edged instruments and died from blood loss.

Noting there is no evidence to show Quartey dealt the fatal blow, the judge said: "This was a brutal attack by a group of young people with weapons.

"You took part in that attack and at the very least actively encouraged others. You were armed with a weapon of some sort. You ignored Mr Nelson's screams for help.

"You left him to die. The court is sure you intended him to die."

Mr Nelson's mother Serwah Antwi Nelson branded her son's killers "cowards" as she laid bare the "unbearable" heartache and "overwhelming grief" that she and her family face each day in trying to cope with the brutal killing.

In a victim statement, she recalled that the last time she saw her son alive he was "happy and without a care in the world" and that she feels she is now living every mother's nightmare.

She said: "He was literally there one minute and gone the next. I feel that I am in a nightmare and dream that he will return soon."

She now suffers from panic attacks, visits his graveside where she sometimes sings to her beloved "little boy".

She also said she does not know how to explain to his young relatives that he is dead.

Mr Nelson, known as Kobi to his loved ones, was the victim of "a sustained violent attack in which he appears to have been targeted", according to Detective Inspector Jon Meager from the Metropolitan Police Homicide and Major Crime Command.

After sentencing, Mr Meager said: "The reason is not known, but Kobi was not a gang member and it may be that he was mistakenly targeted by the defendant and his accomplices."

He urged anyone with information about the incident to come forward, adding: "One person has been found guilty of Kwabena's murder, but we know from witness accounts that other people were involved.

"I would like to assure Kobi's family that we will continue to investigate and do everything we can to bring Quartey's accomplices to justice."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Metropolitan Police / PA Wire.