Drill rappers who stabbed 16-year-old boy to death in London then fled to Kenya are both jailed for life
- The killers chased Alex Smith ‘with a foot-long machete’ before stabbing him
The killers of a 16-year-old boy who chased him ‘with a foot-long machete’ before stabbing him to death have been jailed for life.
Former Southampton youth footballer Alex Smith was murdered on the streets of London on August 12 2019 as he left a restaurant near Euston Station.
Tariq Monteiro, 23, and Siyad Mohamud, 24, ran after the teenager down Great Portland Street on foot before stabbing him to death in Munster Square near Camden.
Alex had become a target of a gang-based feud between two gangs, known as ‘The Cumbo Gang’ and ‘The Agar Grove Gang’, in North London, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.
After his death, the killers went on to post a video online celebrating his death before fleeing to Kenya, evading a Met Police investigation.
Former Southampton youth footballer Alex Smith was killed when he was just 16-years-old on the streets of London
Tariq Monteiro, 23, was sentenced to life behind bars, serving a minimum of 24 years at the Old Bailey yesterday
Siyad Mohamud was sentenced to life, serving a minimum of 23 years
The pair were arrested in the country’s capital Nairobi last year following a manhunt and were flown back to the UK.
Once in Kenya, Monteiro proceeded to get married and have a son. His wife and child still remain there, the court heard.
Monteiro, who raps under the name Suspect, and Mohamud, known as the name Swavey, were unanimously convicted of murder by the Old Baily jury following a five-week trial.
Monteiro was sentenced to life behind bars, serving a minimum of 24 years, while Mohamud was sentenced to life, serving a minimum of 23 years. Both were absent for their sentencing by Judge Sarah Munro, KC.
Judge Munro said: ‘This is the third case I have had to pass a life sentence for murder this week alone.
‘It is hard for those who don’t sit in these courts day to day to understand how young people in their teens find themselves embroiled in gang culture.
‘Most of them are like Alex who get sucked in and have no concept of the dangers.
‘Alex had his whole life ahead of him.’
Photos from the scene of Alex’s murder in Munster Square in North London on August 12 2019
A police van at the scene in Camden in 2019 following the launch of a murder probe into Alex’s death
Earlier this week she had sentenced Marques Walker, 17, for stabbing 14-year-old Jermaine Cools in West Croydon was broadcast earlier this week.
The next day she was filmed as she sentenced gang members Vanushan Balakrishnan and Ilyas Suleiman, both 18, for the machete murder of 16-year-old Afghan refugee Rishmeet Singh.
Monteiro and Mohamud were the second of four to be convicted over Alex’s death.
Previously Abdirahman Ibrahim, now 22, was found guilty of murder and assisting an offender in March 2021, being sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 18 years.
Earlier that year Arif Biomy, also 22, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 21 years.
Alex’s mother Beatriz Smith described her son in a statement as her ‘precious baby boy’ who was ‘loving, kind, handsome, funny, charming and full of life’.
‘Not in a million years would I expect six people and two cars [to be] involved in the death of my son. I can’t get out my mind how my son was hunted by a pack,’ she said.
‘I can only imagine how terrifying that must have been for him.
Alex’s mother Beatriz Smith described her son (pictured) in a statement as her ‘precious baby boy’ who was ‘loving, kind, handsome, funny, charming and full of life
Previously Abdirahman Ibrahim, now 22, was found guilty of murder and assisting an offender in March 2021, being sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 18 years
In March 2021 Arif Biomy, also 22, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 21 years
‘You may think that after a few years of grieving you can move on and learn to live with it, but you can’t and never will.’
Prosecutor Mr Brian O’Neill, KC, earlier told the court: ‘Just after 11pm on Monday 12 August 2019, 16-year-old Alex Smith was stabbed to death in the Euston Road area of central London.
‘His murder was yet another in a series of ‘tit for tat’ killings and stabbings amongst street gangs in the London Borough of Camden around that time.
‘Tariq Monteiro and Siyad Mohamud were members of a group of six men from a rival gang who murdered Alex Smith that August night.
‘Within days of the murder each had fled the country to Kenya.
‘In the intervening period two other men who were involved have been convicted of Alex’s murder.
‘Another two, the rest of the six, remain at large and are also believed to be in Africa and they also escaped very shortly after they had taken part in this murder.
‘Alex Smith, just short of his 17th birthday when he died, had been with a group of males who were associated with a street gang named ‘The Cumbo Gang’ on the night that he was killed.
‘There were a few of them that evening in the Fitzrovia area of central London and they were spotted by a group of males associated with another street gang in the south Camden area named ‘The Agar Grove Gang’.
‘Having spotted them, having come out of Nandos, the Agar Grove group drove around in two motor vehicles trying to find their rivals. The two vehicles were a blue Ford Fiesta and a white Seat Leon. There were three people in each car.’
Both Monteiro and Mohamud were in the blue Ford Fiesta with Sayid Salaban, aged 22, who remains at large and is believed to be in Somalia.
Arif Biomy, 22, drove the white Seat Leon with Yassin Abdi, 23, and Abdirahman Ibrahim, 22, were also in the car with him.
Abdi remains at large and is also believed to be in Somalia.
Biomy stood trial in 2020 and was convicted of murdering Alex. Ibrahim was also convicted of murder and assisting an offender, by torching the two vehicles.
‘CCTV will show that the blue Ford Fiesta had been on Bolsover Street just moments before that foot chase began,’ said Mr O’Neill.
‘The people in the blue Ford Fiesta must have spotted Alex, and the other three, members of a rival gang, just after they left Nando’s.
‘Afterwards the Seat went out looking for these rival gang members. The blue Ford Fiesta and the white Seat Leon left in convoy and circled around those streets looking for those four young people who had just left Nandos a little while earlier.
‘Shortly after this the Cumbo gang members who had been in Nando’s appear to have been spotted again. Another chase started.
‘The three, including the two defendants, got out by foot and another three chased them in the car.
‘Alex Smith was pursued on foot by Monteiro, Mohamud and Abdi. He ran towards Munster square, and he was stabbed to death on the doorstep on 10 Munster Square.’
Mr O’Neill added: ‘During these almost two-and-a-half years, they kept in touch with each other, and they kept in touch with Mr Biomy, even whilst he was in prison, and Mr Ibrahim, who were involved in the murderous events of that night.
‘They also posted videos celebrating the murder of Alex Smith and mocking him in his death.’
Monteiro, of Conway Mews, Fitzrovia, and Mohamud, of Camden Town, north London, both denied but were convicted of murder.
David Hucker, Regional Head of International Operations at the NCA, said: ‘Our international team worked alongside authorities in Kenya to successfully locate and arrest these two men.
‘We will continue to gather intelligence, co-ordinate operational activity and use our specialist capabilities to pursue those who flee overseas to evade justice.’
Detective Sergeant Martin Slattery, Specialist Crime, said: ‘The pair had left London days after the murder in a bid to evade justice, but thanks to the diligence of detectives from the Metropolitan Police they were identified and, working alongside the National Crime Agency with the assistance of the Kenyan Transnational Organized Crime Unit, they were traced to Nairobi, Kenya and returned to the UK to be brought before the courts.
‘I want to thank Alex’s family for their patience as well as acknowledging the commitment of my colleagues in the Met and our partners in bringing these men to justice. I truly hope that these further convictions will enable Alex’s family and friends to draw some comfort from knowing that these men, responsible for killing Alex, will spend a considerable period of time in prison.
‘Neither Mohamud nor Monteiro have shown any remorse throughout the trial and have offered no explanation as to why they committed such a heinous act.
‘This investigation reinforces the Metropolitan Police’s commitment and determination to bring those responsible for serious violence on the streets of London to justice, no matter where they run to and hide.’
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