Drug dealer jailed for killing teen outside Forest Gate school

Image source, Met Police
Image caption,
Amani Lynch was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter

A drug dealer has been jailed for 14 years for killing a young footballer outside an east London primary school.

Champion Ganda, 17, who trained with the Arsenal junior team, was stabbed to death near Sandringham Primary School in Forest Gate on 9 May 2013.

Amani Lynch, 20, of Canning Town, stabbed him 11 times during a fight involving five youths.

Lynch was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter. He was also convicted of wounding with intent.

A 16-year-old friend of Champion Ganda, who refused to co-operate with the police investigation, was stabbed in the buttock and chest but survived.

Two other men were cleared of all charges.

Image source, Met Police
Image caption,
Champion Ganda was stabbed 11 times in the head and chest

Prosecutor Simon Denison QC told the Old Bailey the teenager "died in the street where he fell" in front of school staff who had been left "horrified and distressed".

Belts, a hammer and at least one knife had been used during the attack.

The jury heard Lynch was on bail at the time and has 15 previous convictions including possession of a knife, public order offences and drugs.

During the trial he called his friends to pack the public gallery to "intimidate" a co-defendant who said he had the knife, Mr Denison said.

In a victim impact statement, Champion Ganda's mother Peguy Kato-Sweye described how her "special" son had come to Britain from the Congo for a "better life".

Judge Wendy Joseph QC said she had "no doubt all five (youths) willingly engaged in a fight."

She said Mr Ganda may have taken wrong turns in his life such as by dealing cannabis at the time but he was "clearly... deeply loved and had many fine qualities".

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