Thursday, January 18, 2007

A teenager has admitted stabbing to death an 18-year-old student - two weeks after shooting dead a woman cradling a baby at a christening

BBC News:

Malasi accused Ruth Okechukwu of disrespecting him

Roberto Malasi, 17, shot Zainab Kalokoh, 33, in the head when his gang raided the christening party in Peckham, south London, in August 2005.

On Thursday, he pleaded guilty to murdering Ruth Okechukwu in Walworth, south-east London, on 11 September.

Malasi, from Peckham, south London, will be sentenced on 9 February.

The jury in the trial of Ms Kalokoh was not told that two weeks after her murder on September 11 2005, the defendant dragged student teacher Ruth Okechukwu from a car and stabbed her through the heart.

The court heard Malasi had accused Miss Okechukwu of disrespecting him, following a telephone conversation with one of her friends.

He admitted her murder at the Old Bailey watched, from the public gallery, by Miss Okechukwu's father Ben, the pastor of a Pentecostal church in south London.

In addition to Miss Okechukwu's killing, Malasi is due to be sentenced for Mrs Kalokoh's murder, along with three youths who were convicted of her manslaughter.

Gang members Diamond Babamuboni, 17, his brother Timy, 15, and Jude Odigie, 16, were named after they were convicted, but Malasi's identity was protected because he was due to stand trial for the second murder.

The four, wearing masks, ran into the christening party on the Wood Dene Estate in Peckham, south London, to rob guests.

As Mrs Kalokoh lay dying with a bullet in her head, the raiders stripped guests of valuables. The baby, her niece, was unharmed.

Malasi, who had no previous convictions and is an Angolan refugee, was not identified as one of the attackers until the following year.

Miss Okechukwu's father described her as "beautiful and intelligent" adding: "She was fearless and the kind of girl who would be intimidated by no one. She stood up for herself and for anyone she thought needed help."

Christening killer admits teenager's murder

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