A gang that stabbed a man in a random attack after receiving a text message from someone believed to be inside prison ordering them to ‘ride out’, have been found guilty of murder.
Taylar Isaac, 20, David Kerrigan, 20, and Theo Momodu, 18, were ordered to attack people as a ‘show of loyalty.
During a trial at the Old Bailey the jury heard they were driven in a stolen white SUV to Hackney where, armed with knives and swords and wearing balaclavas, they confronted occupants of a grey Mercedes.
The Mercedes made off and was pursued by the gang but seconds later CCTV captured the three men as they chased random victim Joshua White, 29-year-old, on foot, still brandishing their weapons.
They stabbed him several times and he died in hospital. They later attacked another man, although he survived.
On Friday, Isaac and Kerrigan were found guilty of murder. Theo Momodu had previously pleaded guilty to murder.
The court heard Joshua ran towards a shop in Frampton Park Road where he collided with a six-year-old girl on roller skates sending them both crashing to the floor.
He briefly paused to check she was ok before getting to his feet but as he reached the door of the shop he was caught by Momodu and Isaac and stabbed multiple times.
Kerrigan was also seen on CCTV, standing yards away.
Joshua collapsed inside the shop and despite the efforts of the emergency services who rushed to the scene, he died in hospital later that day.
The gang later attacked another man from a nearby estate and stabbed him, even though he was out with his partner and young child.
He survived his injuries.
The van’s registration number was sent to police and armed officers in an unmarked vehicle spotted them, giving chase.
The driver of the SUV crashed after a short pursuit and the occupants ran off.
Momodu was arrested nearby. The other men were identified and arrested sometime later.
All three men were also found guilty after trial of wounding with intent in relation to an attack on another man.
Detailed analysis of CCTV in the hours before and after the attacks established another man named Harley McGivern had allowed his flat to be used as a base for the gang and he helped dispose of clothing and other evidence. He was arrested and charged for his role.
Harley McGivern, 20-year-old, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice.
Sentencing will take place at the same court at a later date.
Joshua’s parents both released statements following the verdict.
His mother, Trisha Sargusingh, said: “My son Josh was a kind, loving, happy, and caring son. A loyal friend and a sensitive and humble man.
“His passing has left a hole in my heart that will never be filled. From the time of his senseless murder we, as a family, have been mourning not only for him but for the loss of all the experiences, hopes, and dreams that he will never now fulfill.
“Coming to court has been so difficult, physically, emotionally and spiritually and although there is no punishment severe enough that can alleviate the horrific manner of Joshua’s death, we are hopeful that a strong sentence for those convicted may be a deterrent so that other families may never know a pain like ours.”
Joshua’s father, Leigh White, added: “The past two years have been extremely difficult not only for myself but for all of the family and close friends whom Joshua left behind.
“The conviction of those who took his life will not bring Joshua back or ease our pain, but we hope that it will bring us a measure of comfort from which we can start to heal.
I hope that today’s verdict will have lasting consequences for those who committed such a heartless and shameful killing and stands as a lesson to others who are considering carrying knives which could result in the loss of other innocent lives.
“Joshua’s life was cut short in such a meaningless and senseless killing. I hope that those responsible recognise the deep psychological and emotional damage that this has inflicted on everyone who knew him.
“Joshua was a caring, loving, beautiful, kind-hearted person, and his death has left such a huge void in all our lives.”
Detective Sergeant Andy Sheppard, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “These three men went out that day with the clear intention to stab people. They didn’t care who, as long as it earned the respect and notoriety in their gang.
“Joshua appears to have been targeted at random. He was chased in broad daylight and savagely stabbed just yards from an innocent six-year-old girl.
“Unbelievably, they went on to target a second victim, also in front of a child, and again for no apparent reason.
“There is no place for this sort of mindless brutality on the streets of London. Young men caught up in this way of life may think they are proving themselves and building a reputation, but in reality, they are just cutting short their own lives and the lives of others.
“The community is safer knowing that they will be behind bars for a long time.”