Paul Erhahon

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Three teenage gang members have been given life sentences for killing a 14-year-old boy stabbed in the heart with a sword.

Paul Erhahon was murdered in an unprovoked attack by a 17-strong gang in Leytonstone, east London, last April, the Old Bailey heard.

Two of the teenagers were given minimum custodial terms of 13 years and one was given a minimum term of 11 years.

Two other teenagers convicted of manslaughter were also jailed.
The court heard Paul was killed by gang members, some aged as young as 13, who wanted to “earn their spurs” in the group.

Many wore hoods and masks and were armed with baseball bats, knives, swords and a bicycle chain when they carried out their attack.

Phone evidence

Paul was stabbed with a seven-inch sword after straying into their path near his Leytonstone home.

An Old Bailey jury heard how he cried out: “You can’t be shanking [stabbing] me,” as he was attacked.

Video recordings of news broadcasts about the murder were found on a mobile phone in the bedroom of one of the defendants.

Paul Benfield, 16, and Kevin Adu-Marcet, 15, were given life detention sentences with a minimum term of 13 years for murder.

Jordan Conn, 15, was also convicted of murder, and was given life with a minimum term of 11 years.

Nathan Desnoes, 16, was found guilty of manslaughter and given a detention sentence of 12 years.

Theo Diah, 19, was also found guilty of manslaughter and given an indeterminate sentence with a minimum term of seven years.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Keith said: “These were brazen, shocking attacks and made all the worse because you didn’t appear to care who saw you.”

He added: “What makes this so worrying is that a number of you come from what appear to be decent families – so what turned you into the would-be killers that you became didn’t start at home.

“There is self-evidently a culture among boys of your age to do with the carrying of knives which needs to be changed.”

Scott Taylor, 18, received an indeterminate sentence with a minimum term of six-and-a-half years for the attempted murder of a friend of Paul’s, who cannot be named, in the attack.

Benfield, Adu-Marcet and Diah were also found guilty of his attempted murder while Desnoes was convicted of wounding the friend with intent.

Families’ ‘torture’

The sentencing took place on the same day as two other teenagers were given life sentences for murdering 16-year-old schoolboy Kodjo Yenga.

Outside court after both sentences were passed, Det Supt Matthew Horne said: “Kodjo was killed with one stab wound and so was Paul.

“We have heard today that five children in each case have been convicted of the killing of both of these boys, totalling a minimum term of imprisonment of 100 years.”

Det Supt Horne added: “If you go out on the streets with your friends and you know your friends are carrying a knife and you arm yourself as well then the courts are going to find you guilty as if you had inflicted that fatal blow.

“Think about that when you go out with your mates and one of you carries a knife, so we do not have the torture that two families have had to go through in these trials.”