Teenager to be sentenced over ‘Facebook insult’ stabbing

A 16-year-old boy who fatally stabbed a former friend over a “loss of face” after they traded insults on Facebook will be sentenced 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”.

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.”

The court heard that on the night of the murder the killer had been with friends outside a fish bar and they tried to calm him down when he became angry and talking about stabbing the older youth.

When Mr Kombo turned up, the two teenagers walked off apparently to settle their differences, when the younger boy without warning pulled out a knife and stabbed him to the upper chest.

Afterwards he was seen “pounding” a wall “howling at the perceived affront to his own dignity, being called a pussy” the court was told.

“That was the pathetic reason as to why this terrible event happened – because he wanted to show he wasn’t a pussy,” said Mr Jeremy.

The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, later admitted the stabbing but claimed he was acting in self-defence.

But an Old Bailey jury rejected his explanation and convicted him of murder. He will be sentenced today at Southwark Crown Court and faces a life term.

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