The Bishop of Leicester has released a statement following yesterday's verdict in the trial for the murder of Antoin Akpom.
The Rt Revd Tim Stevens said:
Antoin’s death was a tragedy for both his family and for the communities of the city. The pain of that tragedy is not diminished by this verdict – one young man has lost his life and another young man faces prison as a result. Antoin’s mother Cheryl, and her family, have shown remarkable dignity through the pressure of these very difficult times, but his loss is felt very deeply...
... As Christians celebrate Easter, we remember too that in the face of tragic death, there is hope. We must look beyond these terrible events, bring some sense of closure, and work for the better future we can build together. A renewed commitment to see our communities standing alongside each other and working together for truth and reconciliation is the best way to face these challenging times with a shared hope for the future.
19-year-old Hussain Hussain has been jailed for life for the murder of the Leicester football coach and will serve a minimum of 15 years for stabbing Mr Akpom in September last year.
Antoin Akpom was the father of a one-year-old son and coached a youth football team in Leicester. He died on the 12th September last year. The prosecution at Stafford Crown Court alleges he was killed by 19-year-olds Abdul Hakim and Hussain Husain.
The prosecution said in court today that there was 'some sort of bad blood' between Antoin Akpom and Abdul Hakim which had been going on for a year.
The jury heard how Mr Akpom and a friend had been holding a dance and fitness class at a school in Highfields before he was stabbed.
Richard Latham QC told the court that, after leaving the class, an eyewitness saw Mr Akpom get in to an altercation with the two defendants where all three men threw punches at each other.
It is claimed the witness saw Hussain Husain 'go to the back' of Antoin Akpom as he was facing Abdul Hakim. Moments later, it is alleged, the witness saw 'a red substance' on the back of Mr Akpom's shirt, which appeared to be growing in size.
The prosecution says this is when Antoin Akpom was stabbed. The trial continues.