London

Peckham murder trial: Sylvester Akapalara case begins

  • 19 October 2011
  • From the section London
Sylvester Akapalara
Image caption Sylvester Akapalara was shot on a stairwell, the court heard

A teenage athlete was shot dead in south London after being chased by armed youths, the Old Bailey has heard.

Sylvester Akapalara, a member of Herne Hill Harriers athletics club, was wounded in the neck and chest on the Pelican Estate in Peckham in December.

Two of the 17-year-old's friends were stabbed and injured.

Five teenagers, all aged between 16 and 19, deny murder, attempted murder, possessing a firearm and having knives as offensive weapons.

David Nyamupfukudza, 18, from New Cross, south London, and a 16-year-old youth from Peckham are appearing in court.

The other defendants are Sodiq Adeojo, 19, his brother Qudus, 18, and Kenny Imafidon, 18, all of whom live in Peckham.

'Stood sentry'

In addition, two brothers aged 16 and 17 accused of hiding the gun used to kill Sylvester deny illegal possession of a firearm.

The victim, from Sierra Leone, was said to have been among the 30 best 400m runners in England.

Sylvester was pursued through Heron House, then shot "somewhere between the fifth and fourth floors", said prosecution barrister Duncan Penny.

He and his two friends had been "hunted down", he said.

Some youths had a handgun and knives, while others blocked an exit when they "stood sentry" on a stairwell, he added.

After Sylvester was shot his friends were "stabbed repeatedly" as they tried to leave the block, Mr Penny said.

"Each of them was lucky to escape," he told the court.

The trial continues.

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