London

Teen killed with 'zombie killer' knife near Islington park

Stefan Appleton Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Stefan Appleton was with friends near Nightingale Park when he was attacked at about 18:00

A teenager was stabbed to death by two youths using a large "zombie killer" knife near a busy north London park, the Old Bailey has heard.

Stefan Appleton, 17, had been playing with friends by Nightingale Park on 10 June 2015, when he was run at by two 17-year-olds.

He tripped over a fence and was stabbed in the chest as he lay "helpless" on the ground, the court heard.

Three defendants, who cannot be named, deny charges including murder.

Read more on this story on our London Live page

Prosecutor Simon Denison QC told the jury two youths had been riding a stolen moped when they approached Mr Appleton.

Image caption Children were playing on swings and slides in the park when the youths arrived on the moped

The pillion passenger, who was wearing a hood and balaclava, jumped from the bike and attacked the 17-year-old, Mr Denison said.

Mr Appleton was cut on the right shin as he kicked out and then stabbed through the lung and heart.

He managed to get up and run away but collapsed. He was pronounced dead at 19:45 GMT.

Mr Denison told the court the attacker was heard shouting "RP" as he rode off on the moped, standing for Red Pitch - a rival gang in the Nightingale Park area.

Two 17-year-old boys who were allegedly on the moped are on trial accused of murder.

They also face a second charge of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent along with a third youth, aged 16.

The jury heard the 16-year-old had been stabbed in the same area two months earlier and this attack was "very much connected" to Mr Appleton's death.

Image copyright Darren Ghoumrassi
Image caption The victim was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead in hospital

The prosecutor showed the jury a copy of the Zombie Killer knife, taking it out of its sheath to demonstrate its 25in (63cm) blade with serrated edge.

He said: "Imagine using that as a weapon, carrying that as a weapon. Imagine striking down hard at a human being with something like that. It almost defies belief, doesn't it?"

After the killing, the youths allegedly burned the moped then fled to Bristol where they tried to arrange a flight to Malaga, the court heard.

They returned to London days after but were arrested by police.

Mr Denison said the machete-like knife "was a weapon with no legitimate purpose".

Two 17-year-olds are accused of murder and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.

A 16-year-old is also charged with conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.

The case continues.

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