Two teenagers have been found guilty of the murder of an 18-year-old man who was hacked to death with machetes in a “barbaric” attack.
The defendants were aged just 14 and 16 when they set upon Santino Dymiter in east London on the afternoon of August 26 2019.
Rahiem Anderson, aka Ramzy, now 18, and the other boy, now 16, were both wearing electronic tags at the time of the attack in Chadd Green, Plaistow.
Just weeks before the murder, the pair were released from young offenders institutions having been convicted over a plot to kidnap, falsely imprison and blackmail a young man.
It was alleged that they had been directed by senior Beckton Boys gang member Shaian Forde, who had been released from jail slightly beforehand.
It was claimed Forde, aka Shanks, 26, wanted retribution after being stabbed six days earlier.
A jury at the Old Bailey deliberated for more than 33 hours to find Anderson, from Romford, and the 16-year-old guilty of murder by a majority of 10 to one.
Mr Forde, from Dagenham, wiped away tears and pumped his fists in the air as he was found not guilty of murder.
A girlfriend of Mr Forde’s, Robyn Willson, 27, of Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, was also acquitted of assisting an offender.
Judge Richard Marks QC adjourned sentencing to April 6 for reports on the youngest defendant.
Prosecutor Jake Hallam QC told the jury it was a “barbaric” killing carried out by the two teenagers.
The killers were connected with the Beckton Boys, who had a long-running dispute with the Chadd Green gang, with whom the victim was associated.
At about 3.20pm on August 26, the two teenagers arrived in Chadd Green in a stolen car, wearing black clothes and latex gloves, with their faces covered by bandanas.
Armed with machetes, they went for Mr Dymiter and an 18-year-old friend who took refuge in his nearby home.
Mr Hallam said the victim was caught and hacked to death by a “succession of terrible slashing and stabbing blows”.
Mr Dymiter, who suffered wounds to his neck and back, was heard to scream “help me”.
Afterwards he collapsed on the pavement, his white T-shirt soaked in blood.
Despite the efforts of medics at the scene, he was pronounced dead.
The getaway car, which was found abandoned, was linked to the two attackers by DNA and fingerprints, jurors heard.
The pair’s movements were also traced through their electronic tags, having previously been convicted over a kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail plot the year before.
The youngest defendant was arrested at his home on September 5 2019 and made no comment in police interview.
Mr Forde and Anderson were arrested two days later along with Ms Willson at her home.
Anderson made no comment to police but, while on remand at Cookham Wood Young Offenders’ Institution, was heard to brag about the killing to inmates.
Laughing, he said: “The machete got stuck in his head … yeah, the blood splashed on my face.
“When I pulled the knife out of his head, the blood was a mad thing.
“Then I shanked him again. It was funny, my man was laughing.”
One of those listening responded: “It’s like music to my ears.”
Anderson went on to claim his victim was “crying for his mum” and mockingly imitated him shouting in a high voice: “Mummy, Mummy, Mummy.”
Prosecutor Mr Hallam told jurors: “The other prisoners were laughing and pretending to fall over from laughter.”
The court was told that Mr Dymiter went by the street name Star Nine in an apparent reference to a 9mm pistol.
He was linked to the Chadd Green gang and had a conviction for causing grievous bodily harm with intent over a stabbing in 2018.
Detective Chief Inspector Laurence Smith, of Scotland Yard, said: “The wound that killed Santino was struck with a machete into his back entering more than 12 centimetres and severing arteries.
“The attack on Santino was shocking not only in its ferocity, but also in the amount, and the ineffectiveness of, the planning that had gone into it.
“Ultimately, a young man is dead and two people will now waste the best years of their lives in jail. There are no winners. The shockwaves of the convictions and the resulting sentences will resonate throughout the families and loved ones of all of those concerned for years to come.”