Young man killed in ‘swift and merciless attack’ at youth centre

A young man was stabbed to death inside a youth centre in a “swift and merciless attack”, a court has heard.

Glendon Spence, 23, and his friends sought refuge at the Marcus Lipton Youth Centre in Brixton when two hooded teenagers arrived armed with large knives and ran at them, the Old Bailey was told.

Mr Spence, who was a regular at the south London youth club, tripped and fell by a table tennis table and was set upon by one of the attackers, jurors heard.

He suffered a stab wound to his thigh, severing the femoral artery, and was pronounced dead at the scene soon after the attack on the evening of February 21.

A 17-year-old boy, who allegedly delivered the fatal wound, is on trial accused of murder along with 18-year-old Chibuzo Ukonu, of Loughton, Essex.

Members of Mr Spence’s family broke down in tears and left court as prosecutor Julian Evans outlined the case.

Mr Evans told jurors the attack which lasted a matter of seconds was caught on CCTV footage.

Brixton stabbing
The Marcus Lipton youth centre in Brixton, south London, where 23-year-old Glendon Spence was fatally stabbed (Victoria Jones/PA)

He said: “From the CCTV footage alone, there can be no doubt that on the evening of February 21 Glendon Spence was chased into the youth centre and there is no doubt that he was attacked there, that he was stabbed and as a result of those stab injuries he died.

“He was the victim of a swift and merciless attack.”

He told jurors the alleged killers arrived at the Brixton centre at about 6.45pm wearing dark clothes and carrying large knives.

The younger defendant was allegedly in a dark top with the hood drawn up around his head and wearing a pair of white gloves.

Both teenagers had been dropped off by a BMW Series 5 car which had been bought with £1,150 by Ukonu just days before, the court heard.

Mr Evans said: “Glendon Spence and his friends ran inside the youth centre seeking safety.

“Glendon ran into the main room and headed towards the far end. As he ran, he lost his footing and fell to the ground. He managed to get up but he fell over again near to the corner of the main room close to a table tennis table.”

“As Glendon lay on the floor beneath him, (the 17-year-old) attacked him with his knife, raising his hand in the air and aiming a number of downward stabbing blows at his prone body.”

Mr Spence suffered defensive cuts to the arm and hand as well as the fatal stab wound to the right thigh which caused “sudden and immediate blood loss”, Mr Evans said.

As the attackers ran back to the waiting car Mr Spence was able to get up on his feet and but soon collapsed again, the court heard.

Members of staff tried to help him before paramedics arrived but he was pronounced dead at about 7.30pm.

Later that night, the BMW car was found fire-damaged and abandoned on the Peabody Estate in south London, jurors heard.

Ukonu took a coach to Manchester the next day while his co-accused was arrested as he attempted to take a flight to Uganda from Heathrow Airport, the court heard.

Mr Evans told jurors that the 17-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, denied being present while Ukonu accepted being there with a knife but denied intending to harm anyone or causing any injuries to Mr Spence.

Both defendants have denied murder.

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