Four convicted for murder of teenager in Harold Wood

Four people have been convicted for their parts in the murder of teenager Daniel Laskos in Havering last year.

The four, a 16-year-old boy who cannot be named, Callum Hands, 20, of Vincent Road, Dagenham, Rakeem Green-Matthews, 19, of Gulderose Road, Romford, and Joshua Kerr, 19, of Birchanger Road, South Norwood, appeared for trial at the Old Bailey where on Friday, April 1 they were each convicted of murder.

All four were remanded in custody to appear for sentencing at the same court on Thursday, April 7.

During trial the court heard how police were called to reports of a fight between armed groups at 6.41pm on Friday May 7, 2021 outside a shop on Church Road, Harold Wood.

Victim: Daniel Laskos

When officers and London Ambulance Service [LAS] arrived, members of the public were administering first aid to the victim, Daniel Laskos, who had suffered a serious knife wound to his neck.

London’s Air Ambulance was called, but despite the efforts of the public and emergency services, Daniel, aged just 16, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A murder investigation was launched led by Detective Chief Inspector Dave Whellams of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command.

He said: “This entire incident was captured on CCTV that my team has studied at length.

“The footage clearly showed Daniel Laskos standing on the pavement with a friend on Church Road when the suspects approached them. Pulling knives and a baton from their clothing they charged them. Daniel and his friend instinctively tried to back away, but were caught and stabbed in a targeted, frenzied attack.

“We still don’t know what the circumstances were that motivated this murder. What we do know is that a family is changed forever and continues to struggle to come to terms with their loss. Our thoughts are with them today.

“We also know that four young men will forfeit their futures as a result.

Green-Matthew and Kerr caught on CCTV

“As homicide detectives we see the effects of extreme violence as part of our daily professional lives, and the speed with which often minor disputes can escalate into extreme violence goes far beyond our comprehension.

“It is vital that the community, educators and police work together to stop this mindless and wholly needless loss of our young men’s lives. If you know someone who carries weapons or is involved in violent crime please do the right thing and tell police what you know – your actions could save a life.”

Loushawn Barnes, 19 and Renee St Ange, 18, were found not guilty of murder or manslaughter.

There are a number of ways that concerned citizens can provide information. You can report to police by dialling 101 or online at www.Met.police.uk

If you have information that could help keep your community safe, but don’t want to speak to police, please contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They do not ask your name and cannot trace your call or I.P address.

Any young people who have information about violence or knife crime, can visit www.fearless.org where they can pass on information anonymously – your I.P address will not be traced. Fearless is part of the Crimestoppers charity, and is also independent of the police.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]