by Seyi Lawal
It’s been over 2 years since 15-year-old Sofyen Belamouadden from Acton, West London, was repeatedly beaten and stabbed to death by a gang of youths in broad day light at one of the busiest train stations in London but finally justice has been served to the culprits and that includes some Nigerian teenagers.
Yesterday, Victoria Osoteku, who was 18 at the time the crime was committed, was jailed for 12 years for manslaughter. She joined already convicted Samson Odegbune and Christopher Omoregie, both 18, along with Obi Nwokeh, 19 – who were convicted of murder during a series of trials last year and jailed for 18 years each.
Also pastor’s son Femi Oderinwale, 18, along with Adonis Akra, also 18, and Samuel Roberts, 19, were each given 12 years after they were convicted of manslaughter too.
Enoch Amoah, 19, and Tyrone Richards, 17, were locked up for seven years after they were found guilty of violent disorder.
That’s not all, Lewis Sinclar, Olawale Olaribigbe and Melvin Mensah, all 18, along with Selassie Ahiaku, 19, all got two years after they pleaded guilty to violent disorder before their trial got underway last September.
The only female in the group, Osoteku has been given a more attention in the media than the boys as people find it hard to understand why she got involved in such a grievous crime.
William Boyce QC, defending, urged Judge Moss to distinguish Osoteku’s case from those of the other teens convicted of manslaughter. But prosecutor Mark Heywood QC described Sofyen’s murder as ‘brutal and merciless’. Heywood said: ‘Victoria Osoteku was one of those who set up and organised the confrontation that led to the death.’ She was also accused of kicking her bleeding as he lay fatally wounded and claimed she had just ‘nudged’ him with her foot.
‘I don’t know why I did it, but I just wanted to know if he was OK,’ she added. But Osoteku, now aged 20, was convicted of manslaughter after giving evidence for 21 days – the longest testimony at the Old Bailey in recent years – in a four-month trial. Her jail term brings the total sentences handed down to 124 years.
On March 24, 2010, the two groups were seen arguing at Victoria Station and one youth was left with a bloody nose.
The next day, March 25, about 20 youths arrived at Victoria on two buses at around 5.14pm armed with a samurai sword, sharpening steels, metal bars including knives Osoteku had bought from Argos to confront the rival group.
Sofyen was chased into the station and fell down the steps in to the ticket hall where he was kicked, punched, beaten and stabbed repeatedly in front of dozens of commuters including a priest.
Editor’s note: Photo credits and some information obtained from Daily Mail.