A 16-year-old boy was accidentally stabbed to death by his friend as they murdered another boy in the street, a court has been told. 

Charlie Bartolo and Kearne Solanke, both 16, died after they were found with stab injuries one mile apart in Abbey Wood and Thamesmead on November 26 last year. 

But today (November 9) the jury in a double murder trial were told that Kearne was part of the gang of five who knocked Charlie off his moped with a 4x4 then stabbed him in the head. 

Prosecutor William Emlyn Jones QC said: “During the violence, one of his own team in their joint attack on Charlie Bartolo, stabbed his own friend Kearne Solanke. 

“There’s no reason to think he meant to stab Kearne, but in the confusion and the chaos of the moment – no doubt I’m afraid, in the excitement – his knife found the wrong target.” 

Hussain Bah and Alagie Jobe, both 19, are on trial accused of two murders – alongside two teens aged 16 and 17 who cannot be named as they are under 18. 

News Shopper: The scene at Titmuss Avenue in Thamesmead where Kearne Solanke was foundThe scene at Titmuss Avenue in Thamesmead where Kearne Solanke was found (Image: PA)

SE ‘post-code beef’ 

Giving the prosecution’s case against the four defendants, Mr Emyln Jones said Charlie’s “brutal” killing was motivated by a “post-code rivalry” between Abbey Wood and Thamesmead. 

“As [the 17-year-old defendant] told the police, he had a problem – he didn’t use the word problem, he said he had a beef – with Abbey Wood. That, I’m afraid to tell you, is the depressingly petty reason for these two young men losing their lives,” Mr Emyln Jones said. 

The five teens, “armed to the teeth with knives” in a Nissan Qashqai which had been stolen from Erith, drove into Abbey Wood looking for a victim to attack, he said. 

News Shopper: Flowers left at the scene where Charlie diedFlowers left at the scene where Charlie died (Image: PA)Charlie and two friends were riding motorbikes on Sewell Road at around 5pm when he was deliberately rammed by the car which came towards him, throwing him over the handlebars and into the air. 

Kearne, Jobe and the 16-year-old defendant got out the passenger side where Charlie had fallen and used large almost sword-like knives to stab him as he lay defenceless on the pavement, Mr Emyln Jones said. 

During the attack, which lasted less than a minute, Charlie was stabbed eight times including in the head, penetrating his brain. 

He was rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital after a member of the public called 999 but by 6.24pm he was dead. 

Stabbed by his own friend 

CCTV footage shows that when Jobe and the 16-year-old defendant moved back to the car Kearne continued the assault, Mr Emyln Jones said. 

As Kearne turned to head back to the car himself he appears to drop his knife. He stumbled and fell as he went to pick it up, the court heard. 

When Kearne gets back to his feet he goes to return to the car but as he does the 16-year-old defendant opens the door. 

“[The 16-year-old defendant] hasn’t had enough, as it turns out. He goes back and stabs Charlie on the ground once or twice more,” Mr Emyln Jones said. 

But as the 16-year-old gets out the car, knife raised, he accidentally stabbed Kearne who was in his way, it is alleged. 

Kearne then got back into the car with the rest of them and they all drove away leaving Charlie dying, the court heard. 

News Shopper: Kearne Solanke was found injured on the side of a road in ThamesmeadKearne Solanke was found injured on the side of a road in Thamesmead (Image: PA)“So what did they do? They drove back to safe territory and when they reached Titmuss Avenue, they abandoned the car and they abandoned Kearne – they left him bleeding, on the pavement, to death,” Mr Emyln Jones said. 

A 999 call was made from Bah’s phone at 5.11pm and an ambulance arrived within minutes. 

Despite emergency treatment, Kearne died on Titmuss Avenue at 6.16pm from a deep wound to his shoulder. 

A team murder 

While only Kearne, Jobe and the 16-year-old defendant are alleged to have attacked Charlie with knives, prosecutors allege that it was a team effort. 

Mr Emyln Jones said: “These four young men were there as a team and acted together as a team, with a shared intention to stab and seriously harm their target.” 

He added: “It was really only the lack of opportunity which prevented Bah and [the 17-year-old defendant] from joining in, rather than any lack of enthusiasm from their part. They just happened to find themselves on the wrong side of the car to join in.” 

Bah is alleged to have been driving the car as it hit Charlie, while the 17-year-old defendant is said to have driven the car away from the scene. 

All four defendants deny both murders. Jobe, Bah and the 16-year-old defendant all deny that they were there at all. 

The 17-year-old defendant admits he was at the scene but claims he was “just chilling” in the car and didn’t take any part in the attack, Mr Emyln Jones said. 

The trial continues at Inner London Crown Court.