United Kingdom

Gang who chased and stabbed NHS worker, 24, to death nine times are jailed for 101 years 

Four killers who stabbed an NHS worker to death while hunting down rival gang members have been jailed for a total of 101 years.

David Gomoh, 24, was chased and knifed at least nine times as he spoke to his girlfriend on the phone near his home in Canning Town, east London, on April 26 last year.  

Mr Gomoh was chosen at random by members of the Northside Newham gang who stabbed the NHS worker with Rambo knives and machetes 'for the sake of it' to send a message to their Custom House and Beckton rivals.   

David Ture, 19, Vagnei Colubali, 23, and Muhammad Jalloh, 19, were found guilty of Mr Gomoh's murder in August.

A fourth boy who was also convicted of murder but could not be named as he was under 18, can now be identified as Alex Melaku.

Today, each of them was jailed for life, with Jalloh and Colubali sentenced to a minimum of 27 years, Ture to a minimum of 26 and Melaku to a minimum of 21. 

David Gomoh, 24, was stabbed to death as he spoke to his girlfriend on the phone near his home in Canning Town, east London, on April 26 last year

Muhammad Jalloh (left), 19,  of Pinner, north London, and Vagnei Colubali (right), 23, of Cambridge, both received a life sentence with a minimum term of 27 years

David Ture (left), 19, received a life sentence of 26 years and Alex Melaku (right), 18, of Telford, Shropshire, received a life sentence of 21 years

On April 26 last year the gang members drove to the scene in a stolen silver Dodge Caliber to ambush Mr Gomoh near the NHS Nightingale hospital at the ExCel centre in Newham. 

Mr Gomoh, who worked at St Bart's Hospital, managed to get to his feet and stumble the short distance home where he bled to death in front of his family. 

He died days before he was due to attend the funeral for his father, Ken Gomoh, who died after contracting coronavirus.

After the killing Ture made 'storyboard' cartoons of the murder and all four defendants sniggered throughout their Old Bailey trial. 

Collubali bragged about the stabbings carried out by his gang in graffiti he scrawled on his cell wall during the trial, a court heard.

Peter Ratcliff, prosecuting, told the court: 'In the prosecution's submission there are the following aggravating features of the murder.

'There was a significant degree of planning involved; particularly dangerous weapons - Rambo knives and machetes - were used; this was an attack on an unsuspecting, entirely innocent, victim; the context of the murder was gang rivalry; and the murder was marked by its brutality.'

Mr Gomoh, a marketing graduate from South Bank University in London, lived with his mother and sister, who also worked for the NHS.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Gomoh's mother, Marian, said she was 'haunted' by recurring nightmares about what happened, adding: 'I felt numb, paralysed by grief and pain. Why David?' 

She said: 'My husband passed away on April 7 and we were in the process of planning his funeral. David had planned to pay for his funeral. 

'In two months I lost the two men in my life. 

Drawings from David Ture's bedroom showing a number of young men carrying out a stabbing

Mr Gomoh's killers stole a silver Dodge Caliber found abandoned minutes after the stabbing

'I lie awake at night thinking about the fear he felt when he knew he was going to be killed.

Marian Gomoh's victim impact statement

'My husband passed away on April 7 and we were in the process of planning his funeral. David had planned to pay for his funeral. 

'In two months I lost the two men in my life.

'I lie awake at night thinking about the fear he felt when he knew he was going to be killed.

'The grace of God allows me to sleep for a short time before the relentless images haunt me again.

'I have sleepless nights knowing now, from the trial, the extent to which my son suffered.

'[The defendants'] contempt for human life is just beyond comprehension.'

'The grace of God allows me to sleep for a short time before the relentless images haunt me again.

'I have sleepless nights knowing now, from the trial, the extent to which my son suffered.

'[The defendants'] contempt for human life is just beyond comprehension.'    

She added that her son had 'so much to live for; so much unfulfilled promise and so much needed by the NHS trust he worked for to help distribute PPE and other stocks, so much humanity and compassion to share'.

She said her son's murderers had 'walked uninvited into our lives and destroyed David's life'. 

His sister Lizzie Gomoh said in a statement: 'I am furious that those four thought they had the right to kill my brother, to sit there and stand there laughing during the trial.

'That one of them had the gall to turn it into a comic is beyond words.'                                

After the attack, the killers attempted to make a getaway in the Dodge Caliber but one of the wheels came off and they had to walk back to the north side of Newham.

Mr Gomoh suffered catastrophic injuries, including severed carotid and brachial arteries.

Passing sentence, Judge Mark Lucraft QC, the Recorder of London, said the killers had carried out a 'brutal murder' which had involved a 'significant degree' of planning.  

He said: 'Marian Gomoh describes the death of her son in a moving impact statement.

'As she remarks, David's brutal and senseless murder came very soon after his 24th birthday and just 20 days after the death of his father.

'The four of you were part of the Northside Newham gang who have argued with gangs on the south side of the borough.

'I have no doubt there are many who live in all parts of the borough who are impacted by the acts of those like the four of you who seem to kill simply for the sake of it and show little or no reward for human life.'

Judge Lucraft described the extent of planning that went into the attack, including turning off phones and multiple outfit changes.

He continued: 'It is clear that you did not have a specific target, but rather intended to attack any young man considered by you to be connected to a rival territory by virtue of their presence in that area.

'David was a lone, innocent and entirely unsuspecting victim.

'The three of you laid into him with the long knives you were each carrying.

'David Gomoh was stabbed no fewer than ten times. The stab wounds were to his head and body. Some of the wounds were as much as 19.5cm in depth.

'Even with the injuries the three of you caused, David managed to stagger back the short distance to his home where he collapsed on the doorstep.

'Despite emergency surgery, he died soon after he reached hospital.

'The four of you then made your escape from the scene in the stolen vehicle before you were forced to abandon it in north Newham when one of the wheels came off.

'You sought to wipe down the areas of the car you had touched and remove anything connecting you to it.' 

Detective Chief Inspector Laurence Smith, who led the investigation, said: 'These four defendants carried out a senseless attack on a completely innocent man and there is absolutely no doubt that London is a safer place with them behind bars. 

'Despite the significant evidence linking them to this crime, all four refused to admit to their actions meaning David's family and friends had to sit through a trial and re-live the worst night of their lives.

'Our thoughts, as always, remain with them and we hope they can now begin to grieve for the loss of their son and brother.'    

Jalloh, Colubali, Ture, and Melaku,  all denied but were convicted of murder and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm after a six-and-a-half-week trial.

Jalloh, of Pinner, north London, and Colubali, of Cambridge, both received a life sentence with a minimum term of 27 years.

Ture, of no fixed address, received a life sentence of 26 years, and Melaku, of Bishops Dale, Telford, Shropshire, received a life sentence of 21 years.

Jalloh, Ture and Colubali received six year concurrent sentences for conspiracy to cause bodily harm, while Melaku received five years.

After ordering the defendants be taken down to the cells, Judge Lucraft said: 'David Gomoh had no gang connections.

'He was an innocent man who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.'  

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