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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Boy, 16, locked up for 'loss of face' killing

Boy, 16, locked up for 'loss of face' killing

A 16-year-old boy who fatally stabbed a former friend over a "loss of face" after they traded insults on Facebook was detained for at least 14 years today.

The killer, who was 15 at the time, knifed Salum Kombo in the chest for the "pathetic" reason that he had called him a "pussy".

Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith, sentencing him at Southwark Crown Court in central London, said: "There was nothing brave about what you did. This was quite simply an act of cowardice, as so many stabbings are."

Mr Kombo, 18, stumbled and collapsed to the ground before bleeding to death near the scene of the attack in Bromley-by-Bow, east London, last December.

David Jeremy QC, prosecuting, said: "A young man has lost his life following a petty dispute and a perceived loss of face by the perpetrator."

Mr Jeremy said a previous friendship between Mr Kombo and the defendant had turned to "hostility" and they had a fight last summer after a football match in Bartlett Park.

He said: "In the days leading up to December 20 there had been a trade of insults and threats between these two boys, both directly and on Facebook.

"At one stage the boy who died called (the defendant) a pussy. That insult appears to have particularly incensed him.

"It was the combination of a silly argument, (the defendant's) over-sensitivity about his own dignity and status, and his own willingness to carry a knife that led to the events of December 20."

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