Two teenagers who chased a young man into a youth club before fatally stabbing him to death in front of children have been convicted.
Officers, the London Ambulance Service (LAS) and London’s Air Ambulance attended and found Lewisham man Glendon Spence suffering from stab wounds. Despite efforts to save him, the 23-year-old died at the scene at at 7.27pm.
Homicide detectives reviewed CCTV footage of the incident which was captured on cameras located inside and outside the youth centre.
Officers established that both culprits arrived together inside a BMW which had only been purchased a few days earlier.
Glendon immediately sought refuge in the centre, which he knew well and had attended for a number of years.
Chibuzo Ukonu and Rishon Florant followed with large knives in open view. After Glendon was felled by a table tennis table, the duo launched their attack. Children as young as ten were inside the youth club at the time.
Ukonu, 18, and Florant, 17, then returned to the same car they arrived in and were driven off. The car was later found abandoned; an attempt had been made to set it alight.
The day after the attack, Florant was intent on leaving the UK on a flight bound for Uganda via Dubai. He was detained by police at the airport and was arrested on suspicion of murder.
On February 27, police entered an home in Salford, Manchester. Ukonu was inside. He was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Both were subsequently charged with Glendon’s murder, remanded into custody before being convicted as above.
On September 3 at a hearing at the Old Bailey, Ukonu was found guilty of manslaughter while Florant was found guilty of murder.
DCI Richard Vandenbergh led the investigation and said: “Youth clubs are expected to be a place of safety, a sanctuary for young people to be themselves and develop their skills and talents.
"The two males who burst in, each armed with large knives, turned that on its head with their actions which were sadly witnessed by so many other people. This attack was premeditated and this death underlines the vile nature of knife crime and the pain and terror it inflicts on communities.
“I would like to pay tribute to Glendon’s family for their dignity with which they have carried themselves throughout proceedings.
“I would also like to thank the local community for their support and patience through the investigation. We endeavour to minimise the impact on witnesses following distressing incidents but we have a duty to the victims and their families in situations such as this, to collect evidence and investigate to the best of our abilities.
“I would also like to recognise the hard work and dedication of my investigation team who have worked tirelessly to piece together witness statements, forensic evidence and hours of CCTV footage against challenging timescales.”
Police added that efforts to identify and bring the driver of the BMW vehicle involved in this fatal stabbing are ongoing.