LAST NOVEMBER, two friends set off for a pizza. Only one of them returned home. While they were out, 17 year old college student Duran Kajima was stabbed and later died. Now his killer has been convicted of manslaughter.
It was 16th November last year when Duran and his 16 year old friend set off, intending to walk to Pizza Go Go in Church Elm Lane, Dagenham. The two boys were set upon by a group of young men as they walked up Church Street. Some sort of dispute flared up outside a convenience store, and it turned violent.
Duran received a single stab wound to his abdomen. He was taken to the Royal London Hospital but died the following morning. His friend received three stab wounds and received serious injuries, but he was able to leave hospital after four days of treatment.
The Metropolitan Police Homicide and Major Crime Command took charge of the investigation. They used witness statements, CCTV footage and other forensic evidence to identify three 16 year old suspects – who were quickly arrested and charged with the murder of Duran and the attempted murder of his friend.
Two of the boys who were charged were found not guilty. The third suspect, who can’t be named for legal reasons, is now 17 and on 15th May he went on trial. On 27th June he was found guilty of the manslaughter of Duran Kajima, on the grounds of diminished responsibility, and the attempted murder of Duran’s 16 year old friend. He is due to be sentenced on 19th July.
The senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Dave Whellams, said, “This was a brutal and senseless attack on two young men as they were simply walking to get a pizza. There was absolutely no need for a verbal dispute to escalate to any sort of violence. Yet the use of a knife tragically and needlessly transformed what may have been an altercation and a scuffle into a horrific act of violence leading to the death of one teenager and serious injuries to his friend. My thoughts are with Duran’s family and with the friend who was seriously injured on the night of the attack. I hope this conviction provides some measure of comfort for them.”