Brent Cross: Teenager admits stabbing man in heart at busy shopping centre
- Credit: PA
A teenager has admitted stabbing a young man to death at Brent Cross shopping centre.
Bhoniefas Rexson, 19, of Buck Lane, Kingsbury, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 21-year-old Gedeon Ngwendema at the Old Bailey today - March 15.
Rexson had been due to go on trial for murder, before pleading guilty to the lesser charge.
The victim was stabbed during a confrontation outside a JD Sports shop on the evening of May 4 last year.
He was attacked less than three minutes after arriving with a friend, prosecutor Caroline Carberry QC said.
She told the court: “Brent Cross centre has multiple cameras in place that capture the arrival of both parties.
“The footage shows that the shopping centre was busy at that time with members of the public.
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“In respect of the meeting, there is no evidence to suggest the two young men knew one another but it is likely from what we see from the footage that they recognised each other and their meeting appears to be by chance.”
The victim received a single fatal wound during the “fast-moving and dynamic” incident, Ms Carberry said.
Immediately afterwards, Rexson ran into JD Sports. Meanwhile, Mr Ngwendema stumbled towards Marks and Spencer and collapsed on the concourse.
He was heard by shoppers to say: “I’ve been duked (stabbed). Someone get me an ambulance.”
The stab wound to his chest had pierced his heart, and he died at the scene.
When detained by security guards, Rexson claimed someone punched him so he punched back, saying it was a “case of mistaken identity”.
The court was told the violence was gang-related.
Ms Carberry said the plea of manslaughter by reason of loss of control was accepted following “careful and anxious” consideration, and consultation with the victim’s family.
She said: “It is accepted there is a fear by this defendant that he would be seriously hurt and that this defence is available to him.”
Judge Anthony Leonard QC said it was "a matter for the Crown", but expressed “deep reservations”.
He said: “I know about the gang background. I know the defendant went to the internet to look for an appropriate knife to have that day. That he must have bought it almost immediately before this attack.
“I have seen the CCTV and all that gives me grave reservations.”
He added: “To my mind, it ought to be tested by a jury.”
He adjourned sentencing until Wednesday - March 23.