Derek Boateng murder trial: teenage victim used a knife trying to fend off killer in fatal Highbury bus stabbing

Highbury bus murder victim Derek Boateng

Highbury bus murder victim Derek Boateng - Credit: Archant

A teenager stabbed to death on a bus drew a knife and tried to fight off the schoolboy who killed him, a court heard today.

Police swarmed outside Highbury Grove School before cordoning off the nearby estate

Police swarmed outside Highbury Grove School before cordoning off the nearby estate - Credit: Archant

Derek Boateng was knifed in the heart in front of horrified passengers on a packed 393 bus in Highbury New Park, in April.

The former Islington schoolboy was airlifted to hospital but died the following day – on his 16th birthday.

The 16-year-old defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is said to have boarded the bus and made a beeline for Derek, stabbing him with a kitchen knife six to eight inches long.

He admits stabbing the teenager in the chest but denies murder.

Opening the trial at the Old Bailey on Monday, prosecutor Tom Kark said: “The wound which killed him was caused by this defendant, and the blade penetrated the right lower part of his chest and pierced, unfortunately, the right ventricle of his heart.

“As a result, Derek Boateng suffered massive internal blood loss and although he remained fact, remained standing for a minute or so, he quickly fell into unconsciousness and his heart stopped.

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Mr Kark said it appeared that there had been some sort of previous dispute between the two boys.

“Whatever had gone on before, we say this was a senseless act of violence,” he said.

“It resulted in the tragic and untimely death of a young boy.”

He added: “There is little by the way of forensic evidence, and in any event the defendant admits that it was him who stabbed Derek Boateng.”

“The real issue in the case is whether he was or may have been acting in lawful self-defence’, Mr Kark said.

Mr Kark said there seemed to be “immediate hostility” from the defendant as he boarded the bus and saw Derek sitting towards the back.

He told jurors he “aggressively” moved past other passengers towards the teenager and asked “something of the nature of ‘do you remember me’?”

He continued: “There was panic, there was shouting and screaming on the bus as the passengers started to realise what was happening.”

The barrister said Derek was “very much hemmed in” where he was sitting, but witnesses told of how he tried to move back towards the window in an attempt to get away from his attacker.

The youth, who was sitting to the side of the dock, has admitted stabbing Derek, but claims he was acting in self defence.

Derek’s parents, Davis and Comfort, who are originally from Ghana, looked on from the back of the court.