Paul Cheston, London Evening Standard, January 10, 2012
A teenager was stabbed 24 times in 45 seconds after he jumped off a bus trying to escape from a group of armed youths, the Old Bailey heard today.
Daniel Graham 18, was murdered with at least one knife and broken bottles at a bus stop in East Dulwich, the jury was told.
He was with friends who had run from a party at Dulwich Hamlet football club when knives were produced and a shot fired, the court heard. They became separated because “Daniel was the lowest runner as he is a smoker,” according to one of his friends.
Daniel got on a 176 bus but jumped off straight into the midst of those who were about to murder him in front of horrified passengers, said Duncan Penny, prosecuting.
The attack took place shortly after midnight on 29 January last year. It followed a party at the football club advertised on the internet as being for under-18s. Mr Penny said: “At the party a dispute arose between the group of which Daniel was a part and another group. One of Daniel’s group was punched and knives were produced. It’s apparent a firearm was discharged and at least one shot was fired.
“Daniel’s group fled and their escape route took them past East Dulwich railway station as they were pursued.”
Daniel at first tried to get on a bus heading north, but it did not move off fast enough so he boarded the southbound 176. Other passengers described him looking nervous and trying to hide below the level of the seats. After a few seconds he pushed the emergency button and CCTV footage shows him jumping off — straight into his killers, the jury heard.
“He was heavily outnumbered. He was beaten quickly to the floor,” said Mr Penny. “Once on the floor he was subjected to a brutal and sustained attack which involved kicks, punches and stamps to his head and body.
“He curled into a foetal position in an attempt to protect himself from the blows that were being rained on him.To the passengers on the bus it seemed all of the group wanted a piece of him. One of them thought they were acting like dogs or animals.
“The evidence suggests at least two sharp objects were used and certainly the bulk of the witnesses describe seeing one knife and a man wielding a broken bottle or bottles.”
Passengers tried to help Daniel, who lived in East Dulwich, until paramedics arrived, but he died of his wounds at King’s College Hospital. Three days later one of the murder weapons was discovered at the home of a youth now aged 17, the court heard. Clothing belonging to a youth now 16, which was worn at the time of the crime, was also found, the court heard.
The 16-year-old, a second youth of the same age, and Lennie John, 24, have pleaded not guilty to murder. The 17-year-old denies a charge of assisting an offender. The defendants are all from Peckham. The three teenagers can not be named because of their young age. The case continues.