Teen stabbed man for ‘looking at him wrong’ then left him to die in front of foster mum
The Mirror, Updated 17:08, 28 Jul 2016
By Laura Connor, Greg Wilford
A teenager who almost disembowelled a man in a park and left him to die in front of his foster mother is facing years behind bars.
Kaleb Amponsah, 18, plunged a kitchen knife 12cm into Ade Afariogun’s stomach in Plaistow Park, east London, because he gave him a “wrong look”.
Amponsah fled the scene and returned to selling drugs within hours of the fatal stabbing on January 29.
The 27-year-old victim was having lunch with the woman he considered to be his mother when he was fatally stabbed.
Amponsah, a known heroin dealer in the area, had been seen staring angrily at his victim as he prowled around the park on a bicycle before the attack.
He sparked a scuffle by blocking Mr Afariogun’s path with his bike before stabbing him.
Today he has been found guilty of murder.
Ann Marie Rosemond – the mother of Mr Afariogun’s best friend and the woman he called ‘mum’ – desperately tried to grab at Amponsah’s clothes to stop him.
Witnesses saw Ms Rosemond pulling the murderer’s hood over his eyes while he reached for the knife tucked in his waistband.
Amponsah fled the scene on foot, abandoning his bike next to Afariogun.
After changing his clothes, the ‘remorseless’ killer sent out group texts advertising drugs.
The victim was rushed to Royal London Hospital where he was given emergency surgery, but died on February 1 from massive blood loss.
He had been due to start a job that week and had turned his life around following his release from a four-year jail term for mugging a schoolgirl and attempting to rob two others in Rainham, Essex, in November 2013.
Today Amponsah – who claimed he acted in self-defence – stood emotionless as a jury of six men and six women convicted him of murder.
Mr Afariogun’s stepfather Kay Oluwa submitted a statement which spoke of the family’s devastation.
It read: “I can never explain to you what it’s like as a family to receive a call like the one we got on Friday, January 29 2016. I truly hope none of you will ever have to experience it.”
Mr Oluwa described how the family joined their son as doctors attempted surgery to save him, saying: “We were there for three days as Ade valiantly fought for his life.
“The only bright light is that we got to say goodbye to him and tell how much we loved him.”
He added: “He has been snatched away from us and for what? We may never know the true reason.”
Mr Oluwa said his son’s killer had shown “no remorse” and “no understanding of what he has done to our family”.
“He is a danger if he can kill someone over something so minor as a wrong look,” he said.
Amponsah, who lived in Canning Town with his parents, spent a lot of time in Plaistow Park and a nearby block of flats, Nicholls Point, selling drugs.
On the day of the killing, he was caught leaving Nicholls Point at 1.02pm, wheeling his bike, before cycling in the direction of Plaistow Park.
His DNA was also found on the bike abandoned at the scene.
Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow told the court the victim had been relying heavily on Ms Rosemond since his release from prison, and she had been buying food for him and cooking his meals.
He had been out with her and her daughter Lindell when he was stabbed.
“The victim told Ms Rosemond the defendant had been staring at him, and had been doing it in a hostile manner, with a ‘screw face’ and they decided to leave the park,” he said.
“Ms Rosemond saw the defendant stop his bike and confront the victim, and heard Mr Afariogun ask him what it was he wanted.
“She saw the defendant holding something in the waist band of his trousers – she grabbed hold of the defendants hood and pulled him away to try and stop the fight.”
Amponsah admits killing Afariogun, but insists he was acting in self-defence, and that the victim brought the knife to the scene to rob him.
He said: “He was coming close to me and out of nowhere he was trying to throw me to the floor. As that was going on I could see him pulling something out of his waistband area.”
Amponsa, of Robertson Road, Canning Town, said he knocked the knife out of Afariogun’s hand and picked it up to defend himself.
“As the knife went to the floor it was ‘Who will get to the knife first?’ As I picked it up he was still coming towards me so I panicked and that was when I stabbed him.
“I was scared, I didn’t want to use the knife. I was in fear for my life and I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
Despite a previous conviction of possession of a knife, Amponsah insisted that it was Afariogun who was “reaching into his trousers”.
“I was young, I was dumb. I can’t even remember why I carried a knife,” he said in reference to his previous conviction.
“Some dealers take protection but no one has tried to rob me before. The witnesses are lying. They made up that I had the knife to get their friend out of trouble.”
He will be sentenced during the week of August 15.