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21 December 2018, 18:40 | Updated: 21 December 2018, 19:27
Five people who carefully planned and orchestrated the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old boy in Nottingham after a long-running dispute have today been convicted.
A court heard the attack on Lyrico Steede came after a video was posted on social media in which Lyrico and his friends appeared to make fun of a group of people for running away from a confrontation.
Three of those people, 19-year-old Kasharn Campbell and 18-year-old's Remmell Miller-Campbell and Christian Jameson, then plotted their revenge along with a 17-year-old boy and a girl, now aged 16, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
The girl’s role was to lure Lyrico to a secluded and unlit spot on a park at night so the other four could attack him.
They knew precisely where Lyrico would be, on a playground bench at the back of Hempshill Vale Play Area, Hempshill Lane, Bulwell, when they carried out the ambush before chasing him for hundreds of metres through the streets of Bulwell and eventually stabbing him.
He stumbled over a fence near the junction of Lillington Road and Stock Well where the defendants caught up with him. At this point, witnesses saw Lyrico being struck in what they later realised to be a stabbing motion.
The four offenders left Lyrico bleeding heavily with a number of stab wounds to his face, back and body. Despite this he managed to knock on a door of a house and pleaded for help. A 999 call was made at 7.29pm that night, 13 February 2018, and he was taken to hospital, but died five days later.
Within days of the attack, Campbell and Jameson appeared in their own drill music video which was posted on YouTube, in which Campbell rapped about carrying out violence with striking similarity to the attack on Lyrico.
The jury saw CCTV footage that meticulously tracked the movements of all of those involved on the night of the attack – including the four young men walking purposefully toward a secluded back entrance to the park with one seen putting on gloves and another lifting his hood - as well as footage of them chasing Lyrico from the park a few minutes later.
The CCTV also showed the 16-year-old girl calmly walking out of the park, after leading Lyrico to the spot where he would be ambushed. This footage proved she was lying when she claimed to police she had been beaten and robbed by Lyrico’s attackers as it showed her walking off without looking in any way concerned, before taking a bus home.
The court was also shown clear footage of Miller-Campbell and Jameson – who were both 17 at the time of the attack - visiting a shop to buy sweets and juice cartons moments before taking a taxi to Bulwell to carry out the attack.
Mobile phone data also matched up the defendants to the CCTV.
After the attack took place they all fled to a nearby house where a 17-year-old girl, a friend of Campbell’s, was babysitting. She saw all of the young men, washed Campbell’s clothes and give Jameson paper towels to clean blood from his grey jogging bottoms. She admitted charges of assisting offenders and perverting the course of justice at a previous hearing – which could not be reported until the conclusion of this trial – and was given a Youth Referral Order.
Campbell stayed at the address where the girl was babysitting but Miller-Campbell, Jameson and the 17-year-old took a taxi to Sneinton where they jumped out in Newark Street and ran off without paying. However, the 17-year-old accidentally left his phone – forensically linked to him by his fingerprints and DNA – in the back seat.
The five defendants all denied a charge of murder during an 11-week trial at Nottingham Crown Court.
However Campbell, of no fixed address, and Jameson, formerly of Kirkbride Court, Chilwell, were each found guilty of murder today.
Miller-Campbell, formerly of Sneinton Boulevard, Sneinton, the 17-year-old and the 16-year-old were each found guilty of manslaughter.
They were remanded in custody for sentencing on 25 January 2019.
Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Hayley Williams said: "This was not an attack in the heat of the moment. This was a cold and extremely calculated attack on a teenage boy with the clear intention of stabbing him multiple times.
"They carefully coordinated on exactly where and when they would attack him and made efforts to conceal their movements, including disposing of phones and getting taxis from unlinked addresses.
"It set up a scenario where four young men who were armed and ready to commit extreme violence had the element of surprise against one unsuspecting victim.
"Sadly for Lyrico, he didn't stand a chance. Even when he tried to run away they chased him down and attacked him and left him with fatal injuries.
"Anyone who carries out a sustained attack of this severity couldn't fail to know that it is likely their victim would die. His injuries were so severe that the pathologist determined they were impossible to survive.
"The attackers then showed an a utter lack of remorse or empathy for the devastation caused to Lyrico's family and friends - and even bragged about what they had done in a drill music video within days of carrying out the attack.
"The girl effectively acted as a honey trap for Lyrico, ultimately luring him to his death.
"Today’s verdict means the jury accepts all five defendants were involved in the plot which resulted in Lyrico’s death and that Campbell and Jameson murdered him."
DCI Williams added that Nottinghamshire Police takes knife crime extremely seriously and invested a huge amount of resources in bringing those responsible to justice. Well over 100 people worked incredibly hard on the investigation, including detectives and uniformed police officers, police staff, crime scene investigators and forensic scientists. They compiled 1,069 exhibits, 1,021 documents, took 314 statements and conducted 38 interviews as part of the case.