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Shaquille’s killers get minimum 96 years behind bars

PUBLISHED: 19:18 09 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:32 05 October 2010

Memorial at St John Cash School, Stepney Green, for the death of Saquille Maitland-Smith, who was stabb to death last week in Hackney, East London. September 3, 2008

Memorial at St John Cash School, Stepney Green, for the death of Saquille Maitland-Smith, who was stabb to death last week in Hackney, East London. September 3, 2008

Carmen Valino

THE six gang members who murdered 14-year-old schoolboy Shaquille Smith in East London last summer have been jailed at the Old Bailey today for a minimum 96 years behind bars. They killed Shaquille in an unproved attack just yards from his home in Hackney

ABOVE: A book of condolence opened by schoolmates at Sir John Cass Secondary in Stepney last summer in memory of 14-year-old Shaquille Smith from Hackney...

BELOW: The thugs jailed today for his murder are (top row) Leon Atwell, Freddie Amponsah and George Amponsah, with (bottom row) Kadean Dias, Godiowe Dufeal and Amisi Khama...

By Mike Brooke

THE six gang members who murdered 14-year-old schoolboy Shaquille Smith in East London last summer have been jailed at the Old Bailey today (Thursday) for a minimum 96 years behind bars.

They had been convicted on June 9 for killing the teenager in an unproved attack just yards from his home in St Thomas’s Place in Hackney.

Shaquille, a bright pupil about to begin his studies for his GCSEs, was mourned by his schoolmates at Stepney’s Sir John Cass Secondary after the late night killing on August 31.

Det Chief Ins Carl Mehta said: “Shaquille was a totally innocent boy with no connection to any gang.

“Those involved in his murder can never understand the harm and grief they cause families and communities by the mindless violence they inflict on others.

“They rode around on their bicycles that night, just looking for someone to beat up.”

The gang rode their bikes into the park looking for someone to beat up and picked on Shaquille, his 16-year-old sister and their 18-year-old friend for no reason.

He was kicked and punched to the ground before being stabbed on a quiet summer’s night last August.

A witness saw them act like “a pack of dogs” swarming into the park to attack.

Shaquille fell from a single stab wound. He was rushed to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, but died hours later.

Those sentenced today were Godiowe Dufeal, 20, to serve a minimum of 18 years, Leon Atwell, 17, minimum 15 years, George Amponsah, 19, minimum 18 years, Kadean Dias, 18, minimum 15 years, Freddie Amponsah, 17, minimum 15 years, and Amisi Khama, 18, minimum 15 years, all from the Hackney, Homerton and Dalston areas.


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