LONDON: A 14-year-old girl who “set up” a boy to be stabbed by her boyfriend after she felt she had been disrespected has been sentenced for his manslaughter.
Junior Nkwelle, 15, was stabbed in the chest on a housing estate in Brixton, south London, last September.
At the Old Bailey, Cherelle McKenzie-Jackson, 14, of Brixton, was sentenced to eight years, and Marc Tulloch, 17, from Herne Hill, was given 10 years.
The pair were cleared of murder at their trial last month.
During the trial, the court heard Nkwelle had been playing football with his friends when an argument broke out with McKenzie-Jackson and she took offence.
She phoned her boyfriend and told him Nkwelle had disrespected her when she interrupted the game of football on the Loughborough housing estate.
Tulloch then travelled to the site by bus and started fighting with Nkwelle before stabbing him.
Jonathan Turner, prosecuting, said: “She was very angry and determined that he should be punished — indeed stabbed — to put things right. She called up her boyfriend and was heard to tell Nkwelle that she had arranged for somebody to come and stab him.”
Jurors found the teenagers guilty of manslaughter but cleared them of murder, as they accepted the pair had not intended to cause Nkwelle serious harm.
Following their conviction last month Nkwelle’s mother Stella said: “I didn’t even know what was going on and I had no chance to help, or see him and say goodbye and tell him how much I love him. By the time I got to him my poor child had bled to death.”
Judge Richard Hone said he had decided to lift an order banning identification of the killers in the hope naming them would act as a deterrent.
Police officer Charles King said: “This death illustrates the terrible consequences of the casual acceptance that knives have a part to play in minor disputes between young people.
“This has been a sensitive investigation given the age of those involved. I would especially like to pay tribute to the young witnesses who had the sense of responsibility to give evidence, despite all the difficult circumstances in which they found themselves.”
McKenzie-Jackson and Tulloch will both serve half their sentences at young offender institutions.
The remainder of their sentences will be served on licence, and the 187 days they have already spent in custody will also be taken into consideration.