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Murder trial: teen died in ‘tit for tat knife attack’

Jury is told how rival gangs had clashed three months before fatal estate stabbing

07 February, 2020 — By Sam Ferguson

Alex Smith, who grew up near Holloway Road, died on a doorstep in Camden’s Regent’s Park estate

A 16-YEAR-OLD was hunted down and stabbed to death in a doorway after a “tit for tat” attack by three rival gang members who then fled the country, a murder trial has heard.

The Inner London Court was told that Alex Smith, who grew up near Holloway Road, had died on a doorstep in Camden’s Regent’s Park estate on August 12 after being chased down and stabbed by members of the Agar Grove gang.

Tariq Monterio, 20, Siyad Mohamud, 21, and Yassin Abdi, 20, were allegedly part of the Agar Grove gang and the police suspect them to have been involved in the murder, but they have fled to East Africa, the court was told.

CCTV footage shown to a jury this week appears to show three men being picked up after the attack by one of two cars.

The driver of one of those vehicles, Arif Biomy, 19, from Greenwich, is now standing trial for Mr Smith’s murder.

The second driver remains unidentified and another man, Abdirahman Ibrahim, who was pictured in the car with Mr Biomy, has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

In the dock with Mr Biomy is Yusuf Yusuf, 19, from West Hampstead, who is charged with two counts of assisting an offender by helping to destroy two cars after Mr Smith’s death. Both men deny the charges.

Brendan O’Neill QC, prosecuting, told the jury Mr Biomy was himself stabbed and hospitalised in an incident just three months before Mr Smith was killed, allegedly by members of the Cumbo gang.

“His [Alex’s] murder is yet another in a series of ‘tit for tat’ killings and stabbings amongst street gangs over the last few years,” added Mr O’Neill.

He said the Agar Grove gang had feuds with a number of other Camden gangs, including the Cumbo gang of which he said Mr Smith had begun associating himself with. Cumbo relates to Cumberland Market, a road near to where Mr Smith was attacked.

“In May 2019, a serious altercation took place in St Pancras Way between the occupants of two vehicles resulting in serious knife injuries being inflicted to Arif Biomy, who was admitted to hospital and remained there for a number of weeks,” said Mr O’Neill.

“After that incident, he was interviewed by police but declined to provide a witness statement or to name the persons he was with when he was stabbed”

On the night of Mr Smith’s death he had eaten a meal at Nando’s in Great Portland Street with friends, but Mr O’Neill said something had happened to cause the “group to flee on foot to the Regent’s Park estate”.

Later, CCTV images appeared to show the two cars heading to nearby Longford Street on the estate, where three of the occupants tried to gain entrance to a block of flats.

“They were clearly looking for someone,” Mr O’Neill told the jury.

“One of these males was holding a large knife or machete. One of the three males had been in the Seat Leon driven by Mr Biomy, the other two had come from the Ford Fiesta.”

He added: “Shortly after this the Cumbo gang members who had been in Nando’s appear to have been spotted again. Another chase ensued both on foot and by car. Alex Smith was pursued on foot by the three from the Agar Grove group as he ran towards Munster Square. He was then stabbed to death on a doorstep in Munster Square.”

Mr Smith had attended Acland Burghley School in Tufnell Park.

A tribute mural depicting the teenager had been painted near the scene until Camden Council painted over it last year.

Mr O’Neill added: “The Cumbo gang had been targeted by the Agar Grove group, who acted together to chase down Alex Smith with fatal consequences.

“All those who were present in those two ­vehicles, regardless of whether they got out and chased on foot or remained in the cars, were party to his murder.”

He told the court: “Both defendants were associated with the Agar Grove gang and were well versed in its methods, it’s beefs and its feuds, especially Biomy who had almost lost his life in an attack by Cumbo gang members on May 19.”

The trial at the courthouse in Southwark continues.

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