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Duo who stabbed teen in back on Halloween sentenced to life

MURDERED: David Maxwell, 18, was stabbed in the back last year

TWO MEN found guilty of 'viciously' stabbing a teenager in the back have been sentenced to life for murder.

The two young men were jailed at the Old Bailey on Friday (Jul 3) for life for the murder of David Maxwell in Southwark last year.

Ronnie Atuqiya, 21, from Dagenham was sentenced to life in prison with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of 20 years.

Chudi Hengari-Ajufo, 18, was sentenced to life in prison with a recommendation to serve a minimum of 16 years.

The court had heard how the pair stalked David down the street and stabbed him in the back.

Investigating officer detective inspector Nathan Eason, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "This was a brutal and vicious attack in broad daylight on a teenager just walking down the street.

"Atuqiya and Hengari-Ajufo stalked David and his friend through the local area before striking. Atuqiya was carrying at least one knife - he and his associate clearly intended to cause David very serious harm that day.

"It remains unclear what the motive for this attack was but I am pleased they have been convicted and will spend a long time behind bars."

On Halloween last year (Oct 31) at around 2:30pm David was walking along Pilgrimage Street towards Long Lane in Southwark, southeast London, with a friend when he was approached by two males from behind.

One pulled out a knife and stabbed David in the back and shoulder. David, who lived in a hostel in Borough Road, stumbled forward and collapsed on the pavement.

The two suspects then ran off in the opposite direction.

LIFE SENTENCE: (From left): Ronnie Atuqiya, 20, and Chudi Hengari-Ajufo, 18, were found guilty of murder and sentenced at the Old Bailey

Passing members of the public tried to help David and London's Air Ambulance was called. But, he died at 3:13pm at the scene.

A post-mortem examination found one of the stab wounds had pierced his heart.

Several witnesses saw the attack and identified a man with the street name of 'Billz' as the suspect holding the weapon.

Billz was quickly identified as Atuqiya and he was arrested at his home on November 3. Clothing matching that wore by the suspect on the day of the murder was found in his bedroom.

Mobile phone analysis pinpointed Atuqiya at the scene of the murder and then moving away from the area towards Hengari-Ajufo mother's address.

Hengari-Ajufo was arrested ten days later on November 13. His mobile phone records again put him at the murder scene at the right time.

Examination of CCTV footage showed the suspects together at the time of the murder in the area and following David and his friend.

The murder itself was not caught on camera but footage immediately afterwards showed Atuqiya and Hengari-Ajufo running at speed from the scene.

Both men were subsequently charged with murder. They were found guilty in May.

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