Yemurai Kanyangarara murder defendant 'found knife on some ledge'

Yemurai Kanyangarara

Yemurai Kanyangarara

First published in Crime by

A 15-YEAR-OLD boy accused of murdering Yemurai Kanyangarara claims he found a knife by coincidence shortly before the killing, a court has heard.

Two boys, aged 16, and a third, aged 15, who cannot be named for legal reasons, all deny murdering Yemurai on July 1 last year, in Upper Wickham Lane, Welling.

Jurors were previously told that one of the 16-year-old defendants had been attacked by members of the Cherry Boys gang on June 28, three days before Yemurai was killed.

On July 1 the three defendants were travelling to Plumstead police station via Dartford to identify the 16-year-old’s alleged attackers.

Today (April 13) jurors heard evidence from the 15-year-old, who was 14 at the time of the incident.

He told the court he did not leave his home in Peckham that day with a knife.

Jurors were shown CCTV footage from on board the 96 bus, which showed the 15-year-old playing around with his shoe and showing it to one of the 16-year-old defendants.

Miranda Moore, defending him, said: “We see you messing around with your trainer on a number of occasions.

What was going on there?”

He said: “I believe I was putting a shank in my shoe, a knife.”

Miss Moore asked him where the knife came from.

He said: “I found it on some ledge.”

The court heard he allegedly found the knife in Dartford while waiting for the 96 bus.

Miss Moore asked him: “Why did you pick it up?”

He replied: “We were going through a territory I’m not used to.”

He told the court he was scared because of what happened to the 16-year-old.

The defendant added: “It was stupid.”

When asked why he had put it in his shoe he said: “One, if I got searched it wouldn’t be on me. Two, I didn’t have a reason to use it. It was hidden away. There wasn’t easy access.”

During cross examination, Peter Finnigan, prosecuting, said: “What you said happened is that by coincidence you just happened to find a knife that day as you were making your way back from Dartford towards Bexleyheath.

“It was just a bit of good luck or bad luck, which would you call it?”

The defendant replied: “Bad luck.”

Mr Finnigan asked the defendant if he had shown the knife to the other two boys.

He said: “No. I felt embarrassed having to protect myself.”

He claimed it would be seen as “the pussy’s way out”.

Mr Finnigan told him: “You didn’t just find it that day on the wall. You armed yourself with it.”

The defendant replied: “That’s your opinion.”

Mr Finnigan added: “That knife was out for action that day.”

The defendant said: “No sir. It didn’t have any action. Nobody was hurt with it. Nobody was touched with it and nobody was threatened with it.”

Jurors previously heard the murder weapon was never found but the 15-year-old’s DNA was on the blade of another knife found by police along the defendant’s alleged escape route.

The court heard that the defendant lied in his police interviews about having a knife with him on that day.

Miss Moore asked him: “Why did you do that?”

He said: “My mum was there and she would have been p*ssed off and disappointed.”

Miss Moore asked the defendant what his reaction was when he saw the 16-year-old defendant strike Yemurai.

The boy said: “At first I didn’t think there was any harm. I thought it was a normal punch. I didn’t know what happened.”

Miss Moore asked him how he felt now.

He replied: “It was an unfortunate event and it shouldn’t have happened.”

Miss Moore said: “What do you mean by unfortunate event?”

He said: “Someone has lost their life.”

The court heard the defendants all ran off after Yemurai was attacked.

The 15-year-old defendant said he changed his mind about going to Plumstead police station and wanted to go home.

He got on a B15 bus which took him to Eltham where he could change and go home.

The route of the bus took him past where Yemurai had just been stabbed.

He said: “There was a lot of boys all crowding around and shouting. If you first looked you would think they were having a fight.”

Miss Moore said: “Did you see any emergency services”.

He says he only saw a paramedic’s car.

He claims he still had no idea that the other defendant had stabbed Yemurai and only found out about Yemurai’s death when his mum told him on the phone a few days later.

The trial continues.

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