Pimlico teenager murder: Five sentenced to life in prison

Clockwise: Ahmed Mikhaimar, Arber Barbatovci, Tarquai Joseph and Craig Boyce Ahmed Mikhaimar, Arber Barbatovci, Tarquai Joseph, Craig Boyce and a fifth man who cannot be named were sentenced to life in prison

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Five men have been given life terms for the murder of a teenager stabbed more than 20 times in central London.

Hani Hicham Abou El Kheir, 16, died in January 2013 after being attacked with meat cleavers and knives while walking through a Pimlico estate.

Ahmed Mikhaimar, 20, Arber Barbatovci, 20, Tarquai Joseph, 19, and a man who cannot be named for legal reasons were all sentenced to a minimum of 26 years.

At the Old Bailey Craig Boyce, 26, was given a minimum term of 27 years.

Hani Abou El Kheir Hani Abou El Kheir was stabbed more than 20 times

The court heard that Hani, his girlfriend and a friend were walking through the Churchill Gardens Estate on 27 January last year when a group of up to 10 armed and masked men spotted them.

The trio were chased through an alleyway before the gang caught up with Hani in Lupus Street, where he was stabbed more than 20 times in a "frenzied ambush", police said.

Hani had only recently overcome anxiety attacks and felt able to venture out alone.

In a statement read to the court, Hani's mother, Pauline Hickey, said: "I cannot come to terms with the fact that I will never again see his awkward walk or hear his childish voice and explosive laugh.

Start Quote

Hani was a gentle and loving giant and that's what made him my Hani”

End Quote Pauline Hickey Mother

"The way he said 'mum' constantly and told me he loved me every day, the mess he left his bedroom in and his heavy hugs.

"Hani was a gentle and loving giant and that's what made him my Hani."

She went on: "Every day I expect him to come through the front door with his beautiful smile and say 'mum what is there to eat?'

"I cannot face the truth of Hani's death and I cannot get over the devastating image of my son lying dead in the hospital."

After the trial Baljit Ubhey, London Chief Crown Prosecutor, said some of the wounds Hani suffered were so severe, they "cut into his bones."

Det Ch Insp Neil Attewell described it as a "frenzied attack" which Hani "stood very little chance of being able to escape".

Following the attack, Mikhaimar and Barbatovci fled to Bristol when officers visited their homes in London.

A sixth defendant, Donjeta Gashi, 21, of Kentish Town, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice after paying for a hotel in Bristol, and will be sentenced at a later date.

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