Sofyen Belamouadden had 'no chance' against knife gang

It took months for police to go through hours of CCTV footage

A 15-year-old who was stabbed to death in front of horrified commuters at Victoria Station had "no chance" of defending himself, according to one witness.

Fulham schoolboy Sofyen Belamouadden was stabbed nine times in the ticket hall of the station after being surrounded by youths.

After four trials lasting 21 months, three have been convicted of murder, five of manslaughter, nine on lesser charges and three cleared.

On Wednesday, the Court of Appeal ruled that Junior Bayode, the final person to be convicted, will not face a retrial.

He was found guilty of manslaughter in October, however the Crown Prosecution Service had wanted him to be retried for murder.

The Reverend Canon Anthony Ball, who witnessed the attack on 25 March 2010, said he had been heading towards the ticket hall during the evening rush hour when suddenly most of the people around him turned around and walked in the opposite direction.

Start Quote

He wasn't getting any help. There was just him, surrounded”

End Quote Canon Anthony Ball Witness

It was then that he saw a group of youths surrounding a boy.

He said: "They were sort of pushing him to the floor, kicking him."

Mr Ball said he could not understand why no-one in the station was trying to help the boy or trying to break up the gang.

"I saw one of the attackers had a long implement in their hand and they made a kind of stabbing motion on the boy who was being attacked.

'Great potential'

"He was trying to get himself off the floor and he was just being kicked and attacked. After the stabbing the attackers kind of fled and the boy was left on the floor.

"He had no chance against his attackers. He wasn't getting any help. There was just him, surrounded. As I now know, he was actually stabbed to death. He didn't have a chance to defend himself."

Mr Ball said he had tried to help Sofyen as he lay on the floor of the station.

Phil Stephenson, one of Sofyen's teachers Sofyen's teacher Phil Stephenson said his death was a tragic loss to his friends and family

"I tried to comfort him, I tried to speak to him to see if I could get any reaction to say it was going to be all right and to say a prayer."

The promising footballer suffered wounds to his heart, a lung and major blood vessels during the 12-second attack.

It had followed a pre-arranged clash between rivals at two west London schools after a minor clash between the groups in the station's food area.

The teenagers had come prepared with knives and a samurai sword for the clash.

Phil Stephenson, Sofyen's PE teacher at Henry Compton School, said the teenager had shown huge potential and was highly regarded.

"He was very popular. He was popular with the pupils, he was also popular with the staff, he had a wonderful sense of humour.

"I spoke to his head of year at the time and she was very keen to emphasise how supportive he was to his peers, how he'd always try to help them and his sense of humour which [shone] through."

Mr Stephenson said Sofyen's death was a tragic loss as he was a boy with "great potential" and had a rare "joie de vivre".

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London

Weather

London

22 °C 14 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    News on the hour 09:57: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    A book of condolence has opened at Ealing Town Hall for people to leave messages for the family of Alice Gross.

    Ealing Council leader Julian Bell tells the 1000 bulletin that the community is "united in grief".

     
  2.  
    Step free Tube investment 09:46:

    Transport for London is to spend £75m on making the Tube more accessible for disabled people, including installing more lifts.

    The lifts will be added to 12 Tube stations over the next decade. It follows an announcement that all 30 Crossrail stations in the capital will be step-free.

     
  3.  
    HK protest in London 09:34:

    Demonstrators gathered outside the Chinese embassy in London last night to support pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

    Hong Kong protest in London Organisers said thousands had gathered in London

    Organisers of the London protest said 3,000 people had gathered to show people in Hong Kong "they are not alone".

     
  4.  
    Alice Gross 09:26:

    The leader of Ealing Council, Julian Bell, has told BBC London 94.9 the flag above the town hall is flying at half mast today as a mark of respect for Alice Gross.

    The council's also opened a book of condolence for people who want to leave a message for Alice's family.

     
  5.  
    Alice Gross tributes 09:17:

    BBC London 94.9 reporter Richard Main tweets: Hanwell clock tower is starting to fill up with tributes to Alice Gross this morning #AliceGross

    Hanwell
     
  6.  
    On air 09:11: Vanessa Feltz Presenter, BBC London 94.9

    On today's show: David Cameron has pledged to cut tax for 30m people if he won the next election. Is this a welcome idea or with council services already stretched would you be worried by possible funding cuts?

    What do you think? Call 020 7224 2000 to let us know.

     
  7.  
    Alice's parents 'devastated' 08:59:

    Alice's parents Jose Gross and Rosalind Hodgkiss say they have been "left completely devastated" and thanked the local community for its help in the search.

    Jose Gross and Rosalind Hodgkiss

    "It is difficult to comprehend that our sweet and beautiful daughter was the victim of a terrible crime."

    They added: "Alice was a loving and much loved daughter and sister, a quirky live spark of a girl, beautiful inside and out."

     
  8.  
    News on the hour 08:56: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    In the bulletin at 0900: Reporter Richard Main is in Hanwell with reaction from the community following the confirmation that a body discovered in the River Brent is Alice Gross.

     
  9.  
    Fulham thrash Bolton 08:47:

    Fulham thrashed fellow strugglers Bolton 4-0 for their third successive win under caretaker manager Kit Symons.

     
  10.  
    M25 delays 08:39:

    The M25 clockwise is blocked between J15 M4 and J16 M40 following a collision.

    For the latest disruption information go to our travel page or on Twitter @BBCLondonTravel.

     
  11.  
    Top headlines
     
  12.  
    Alice post-mortem exam to resume 08:31:

    A post-mortem examination on the body of murdered schoolgirl Alice Gross will resume later.

    Alice Gross

    Police confirmed the body found in a west London river on Tuesday evening was that of the missing 14-year-old.

     
  13.  
    Revised Southeastern services 08:23:

    There is a revised Southeastern rail service between Dartford and Victoria until the end of October because of unplanned works at Lewisham.

    For the latest disruption information go to our travel page or on Twitter @BBCLondonTravel.

     
  14.  
    Foggy start, warm later 08:14:

    Any mist or fog will clear through the morning to leave a fine day with bright or sunny spells. A few showers may develop during the afternoon but most parts should stay dry.

    The light winds and sunshine will make today feel warm with temperatures reaching 22C (72F).

     
  15.  
    08:00: Rebecca Cafe BBC News

    I'll be bringing you the latest news, sport, travel and weather from London today for BBC Local Live.

    You can also send your news, pictures and comments to london.locallive@bbc.co.uk or Tweet @BBCLondonNews.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.