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17.06.2005 Diaspora News

Ghanaian teen jailed for life

Ghanaian Chronicle

A GHANAIAN TEENAGER who murdered his former friend just yards from his victim's home after a row over a girl has been jailed for life.

The Old Bailey heard how Kenneth Amoah was hit in the head with a baseball bat in a gang fight, but responded by producing a knife and stabbed former friend Arnold Nioka once in the chest.

Mr Nioka, 20, of Finsbury Park Avenue, Finsbury Park, died from shock and haemorrhage after the street fight in a housing estate off Green Lanes - which involved around 20 youths, according to the Hornsey Journal.

Mr Nioka's mother, who lived in the next street, found her son bleeding on the pavement but he died as he was being rushed for emergency surgery.

Amoah and co-defendant Bodri Kwalangana, both 18, denied the killing in August last year. It was alleged that Kwalangana had supplied the knife to Amoah.

Kwalangana admitted being at the scene but said he had been trying to break up the fight. He denied passing a knife to Amoah and was cleared of murder by the jury. But Amoah was convicted of murder.

Jailing him for life, Judge Richard Hawkins said: “It's clear you took a knife to the scene. There was clearly an element of planning in this.”

Amoah was told it would be at least 12 years before he was considered for release.

Prosecuting, Jeffrey Pegden old how Kwal-angana and Mr Nioka had shared a flat in Edmonton but a bitter feud had developed between them over Kwalangana using the victim's brother's car.

He said Amoah and Mr Nioka had also fallen out over a girl they knew.

Amoah and Kwal-angana, along with eight pals armed with baseball bats and poles, came to meet Nioka and a similar-sized gang of youths at around 10pm in Wiltshire Gardens, Tottenham.

As parents and adults from nearby houses tried desperately to break up the fight, Amoah and Nioka began grappling in nearby bushes, and Kwalangana was seen to hand something 'which glinted' to Amoah, it was said.