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Two teenagers guilty of murdering 14-year-old boy with sword hidden in walking stick

Two teenagers guilty of murdering 14-year-old boy with sword hidden in walking stick
Schoolboy killed as he kneeled on pavement after slipping while trying to flee attackers

Two teenage boys have been found guilty of murdering a 14-year-old boy with a sword concealed in a walking stick.

Fares Maatou’s killers acted together to attacked him in broad daylight in Canning Town, east London last April.

The pair, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were aged 14 and 15 at the time of the crime.

Prosecutor Julian Evans QC told the Old Bailey the schoolboy “offered no threat at all” and his friends described him as a “happy” boy who “loved life.”

Jurors heard Maatou suffered a 11cm injury to his upper back caused by the sword, which was stolen from the grandfather of one defendant and passed to the other.

Maatou had tried to run away during the assault but slipped, allowing his killers to continue to attack him. He has injured with the sword while kneeling on the pavement of Barking Road, London.

The defendants also beat Maatou with the sword’s sheath before fleeing the scene. Despite managing to get back to his feet after the attack, the young victim fell again and died soon afterwards.

Both defendants had claimed to be acting in self defence but Mr Evans said it was apparent from the CCTV footage they “acting together had attacked and killed an unarmed victim”.

In a tribute after the boy’s death, a close friend of Maatou described him as a “really nice” person who “loved life”.

The 15-year-old, who did not want to be named, told the Press Association news agency: “He was really nice. He had nothing to do with the gang stuff around here.

“He would just be there for you. If you ever needed him he would be there. He was happy. He loved life.”

Maatou’s murderers will be sentenced on 27 July.