London

Glendon Spence death: Teen jailed for youth club murder

Rishon Florant, Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Rishon Florant, 18, was found guilty of murder

A teenager who stabbed a man to death in a youth centre has been jailed.

Glendon Spence, 23, was attacked at the Marcus Lipton Youth Centre in Brixton in February.

Rishon Florant, 18, from Waltham Forest, was found guilty of murder. At the Old Bailey on Friday he was jailed for a minimum of 18 years.

Det Ch Insp Richard Vandenbergh called the killing "a premeditated and brutal attack" that "underlines the vile nature of knife crime".

Chibuzo Ukonu, also 18, of Loughton, Essex, was sentenced to 14 years in a young offenders' institute after being convicted of manslaughter.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Glendon Spence, 23, was attacked inside a Brixton youth club

Ukonu had admitted being present and in possession of a knife but denied intending to harm anyone or causing any injuries to Mr Spence.

Jurors were told the attack, which happened at about 18:45 GMT, was captured on CCTV.

They heard a BMW Series 5 car, bought by Ukonu days before the attack, dropped the defendants off at the scene.

Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Chibuzo Ukonu identified Florant as the murderer

Prosecutor Julian Evans said: "Glendon ran into the main room and headed towards the far end.

"As he ran, he lost his footing and fell to the ground. He managed to get up but he fell over again near to the corner of the main room close to a table tennis table."

He said as Mr Spence lay on the floor, Florant stabbed him in his right thigh, which caused "sudden and immediate blood loss".

Later that night, the BMW car was found fire-damaged and abandoned on the Peabody Estate in south London.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Spence died at the youth centre despite the efforts of paramedics to save his life

Police arrested Florant as he attempted to take a flight to Uganda from Heathrow Airport the next day, while Ukonu took a coach to Manchester.

Sentencing, Judge Mark Dennis QC said: "The exact motive for the attack is unknown, however the attack has all the hallmarks for organised gang violence.

"This was grave offending of the utmost seriousness. The CCTV captured what was a shocking and cruel attack and one which would have horrified or caused great alarm to anyone that witnessed it.

"You are both young men attracted to and engaged in an urban culture that embraces violence."

The victim's family described their devastation at the loss of Mr Spence, who hoped to become a motor mechanic.

In a statement Mr Spence's parents said: "The killing of our fantastic and much loved son Glendon has shattered us as a family.

"There is no comfort anywhere and it is hard to accept what has happened."

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