Islington Tribune
Publications by New Journal Enterprises
  Home Archive Competition Jobs Tickets Accommodation Dating Contact us
Islington Tribune - by TOM FOOT
Published: 12 June 2009

Family of Ben Kinsella outside the court yesterday (Thursday)
‘Good people’ win justice for Ben

Family thank witnesses who came forward as teenager’s killers face 15-year sentences

THE family of Ben Kinsella thanked the “good people of Islington” after his killers were convicted of murder at the Old Bailey yesterday (Thursday).
Jade Braithwaite, 20, from Camden, Michael Alleyne, 18, and Juress Kika, 19 were given life sentences of at least 19 years after a jury found them guilty of murdering Ben in June last year.
The 16-year-old Holloway School pupil, who lived in Barnsbury, was stabbed 11 times in North Road, Holloway, as he made his way home from a night out with friends in Shillibeers bar.
Outside the Old Bailey, Ben’s father George said: “I would like to thank the good people of Islington, including schoolchildren, for coming forward and giving evidence. I would like to thank the media for supporting our fight for justice for Ben. We really hope that the sentencing will reflect the brutality that was inflicted on our son.”
A detective chief inspector involved in the murder investigation told the Tribune he had been overwhelmed by how brave Ben’s friends had been in coming forward.
Inside the court, shouts of “yes!” met the jury’s unanimous guilty verdicts. Ben’s sister, EastEnders actress Brooke Kinsella, formed a small family-circle with her sister and mother, locked arm-in-arm, in tears and smiling.
Prosecutor Nicholas Hilliard, QC, said the life sentences should be at least 15 years.
Braithwaite, Alleyne and Kika – who admitted confronting Ben but during the trial blamed each other for carrying out the stabbing – entered the court yesterday handcuffed to prison guards.
Braithwaite looked thoughtfully at the floor as the verdict was read out. Kika, who did not give evidence during the trial, stared vacantly into space.
Alleyne, described as “naturally violent” by detectives, fixed his eyes on Ben’s mother Deborah as she read out a statement designed to hammer home the devastation endured by families of victims of knife crime. She said: “No parent or sibling should ever have to go through or see what we have seen with our son. He died in front of us. We then had to visit him in a morgue, the undertakers and finally to bury him.
“We have had to move house because it broke our hearts to not see Ben in his bedroom, curled up sleeping and safe in his bed. We cry every day for the loss of Ben. Nearly a year on our nights are still filled with nightmares of our son’s last moments and what he went through that fatal night.”
Braithwaite, 19 at the time, was targeted by around two dozen younger boys in Shillibeers bar after he threatened a local boy. At no time was Ben involved in the row.
Other boys who knew Ben taunted Brathwaite and called him a “pussy”. He allegedly replied: “I’ve got my tool and it will open you up.”
Humiliated, Braithwaite left Shillibeers and phoned Alleyne and Kika and the three chased the group before catching up with Ben and exacting their chilling revenge. He died in the Whittington Hospital, Archway, later that night.
Detective Chief Inspector John Macdonald told the Tribune: “I think this guy [Braithwaite] thought ‘I’ve been embarrassed by some local kids and I’m not having that.’ It is an extreme response from all of them. These teenagers are obsessed with respect.”
Braithwaite was said by police to be the “weak one” after he cracked under interrogation and accused his friend Alleyne of knifing Ben.
Det Chief Insp Macdonald rejected suggestions that drugs or problems associated with under-age drinking led to the stabbing.
“It is simply complete and total ignorance, a social inability to rationalise,” he added. “These people are socially inept.”
Both Alleyne and Kika were found with Ben’s blood on their clothes. Believing there was no firm evidence proving they had stabbed him, the friends adopted a “cut-throat” defence and blamed each other for striking the fatal blows.
While locked in a police van they were secretly taped discussing the attack and whether the knife had been hidden.
The trial was told that Kika had been arrested in connection with a stabbing in Upper Street 10 days before Ben died.
Kika appeared before Highbury magistrates and was charged with grievous bodily harm and affray, but the charges against him were later dropped by the victim.
Braithwaite, Kika and Alleyne will be sentenced for Ben’s murder at the Old Bailey today (Friday).
The murder sparked a huge anti-knife crime march through Islington. Ben’s sister Brooke has campaigned to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife.
Yesterday, Bob Hamlyn, Ben’s headteacher at Holloway School, said: “The verdict is a real relief to anyone connected with Ben. I have spoken to his parents and we hope that now this chapter is over we can find an appropriate and meaningful way to remember this remarkable young man who will continue to serve as a role model for other young people in the way he lived his life.”
Lib Dem councillor Paula Belford, the council’s children and young people chief, added: “I offer my heartfelt condolences to the Kinsella family, and echo his sister Brooke’s words in urging young people to stop carrying knives which ultimately only puts both themselves and others in danger.”

Comment on this article.
(You must supply your full name and email address for your comment to be published)





Your comments:

That's three Islington boys now failed by the justice system. Martins killer - A measly 12 years, his associate - 4 years Nas's killer - A measly 12 years too Bens Killers - 19 years These arent life sentences, these are an insult to the families who have lost a relative. Also, Alleyne was under a supposed Islington borough 'supervision' order, the same supervision order, in the same borough as that of Martin Dinnegans Killer Joseph chin, hmm, seems like somebodys not doing a good job.
J. Jonson


Theatre Music
Arts & Events Attractions