Warrick Carson, 25 of Bushway, Dagenham, was found guilty of murder after Abdulrahman Nassor Juma was killed near his Barking home on the night of 17 May 2018.
The victim, known as Mani to his friends, had known all of his attackers through school or relatives.
The unanimous verdict came after a court heard how Carson, with three others, had targeted Abdulrahman. The jury was told Abdulrahman, in an attempt to escape his attackers, had kicked off his flip flops and run barefoot through the street but was pounced upon and stabbed with Rambo-style knives.
Police were called at 11.31pm to reports of a man stabbed on Crows Road close to Harts Lane in Barking. Officers attended along with the London Ambulance Service and found Abdulrahman suffering from catastrophic stab injuries.
Despite the best efforts of the emergency services, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as stab wounds to the chest and abdomen. He had suffered 18 stab wounds. The pathologist said that the wounds indicated that more than one knife was used during the attack.
The Old Bailey heard Abdulrahman was standing alone outside a block of flats on Harts Lane when a white BMW pulled up near him. Two men got out of the car and immediately attacked Abdulrahman.
It was then that he kicked-off his flip flops and ran away barefoot but his attackers caught up with him and continued to stab him.
While Abdulrahman was being attacked, the two men in the BMW – the driver and a passenger – turned the car around 180 degrees so it was ready to make-off from the scene.
Within two minutes and 17 seconds of leaving the car, both knifemen got back into the BMW and it sped away.
Homicide detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command immediately launched an investigation, with mobile phone analysis as well as CCTV footage linking the suspects to the scene of the murder.
Carson was charged with the murder of Abdulrahman Nassor Juma on 20 November 2018. In an interview, Carson chose to say nothing in response to police questions. A motive for his and his accomplices’ brutal attack has never been fully established.
Mr Nassor Mohammed, Mani’s father, said: “I have relived the CCTV of my son being killed so many times. I have seen him trying to shield himself from his murderers, tumbling to the floor as his killers mercilessly continue to stab him. They made sure there was no life left in him.
“No parent should ever have to see this. It’s an image I will never be able to get out of my head. I will never forgive those that took his life. I had so much hope for him but in a flash he was gone – taken by those once his friends and even a relative.”
Detective Inspector Rita Tierney, of the Met’s Serious Crime North Command, said: “This has been a long, painful process for Mani’s family and I am acutely aware of the pain and sadness they have suffered. While nothing will ever bring him back, I hope that the verdict today will at least bring them a little closure.
“This result is thanks to the thorough and meticulous work of my officers who have worked tirelessly since Mani’s murder and never lost focus, despite the extensive two-and-a-half-year investigation. I would also like to thank the CPS prosecutor and barristers who have helped to get justice for Mani, and the community who supported our work.
“This was a planned and coordinated attack. All four occupants of the car had travelled together to the scene and two males, Carson and Mulangala, got out of the car armed with large ‘Rambo’ type knives and immediately targeted Mani in a ferocious and vicious attack. He never stood a chance.
“Carson is a violent and dangerous man and will now spend a significant term behind bars and the community will be a lot safer as a result.”
Carson was remanded into custody and is expected to be sentenced in January 2021, at a date to be confirmed.
Three of Carson’s acquaintances have already been jailed for the young man’s murder.
Iki Mohammed Ali of Maud Gardens, Barking, and Syed Fahad , of Salisbury Avenue, Barking, were both sentenced at the Old Bailey on Monday, 22 July for the murder of 23-year-old Abdulrahman. They are currently serving a minimum of 23 years each in prison.
Jonathan Mulangala of Stonebridge Road, Tottenham was jailed for Abdulrahman’s murder; he was also sentenced for a charge of attempted murder of another male in a separate incident on 7 April 2018, and possession of an offensive weapon. He is serving 32 years for Abdulrahman’s murder, as well as 18 years for attempted murder and eight months for possession of an offensive weapon for the separate incident, all to be served concurrently.
Ali was arrested on 1 June 2018, while Fahad – who had fled the country after the attack – was arrested on 2 July 2018. Mulangala was arrested by officers on 25 July 2018.