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Teenager convicted of Westfield Stratford murder

A teenager has been convicted of stabbing a man to death during a brawl at Westfield Stratford shopping centre just weeks before the start of the 2012 Olympics.

Liam Woodards was stabbed to death at Westfield shopping centre. Credit: PA Wire

Nii-Azu Kojo-Smith, 19, of Hackney, east London, was found guilty of stabbing Liam Woodards, 24, during a fight involving two gangs on June 29 2012 following a three-month retrial at the Old Bailey.

Kojo-Smith was found guilty of murder by a majority of 11 to 1 after the jury spent 13 days considering its verdict.

Tony Canton, 22, was also convicted of two counts relating to disorder in the shopping centre while Anselm Legemah,19, was convicted of one count of violent disorder.

Sentencing will take place on Monday.


London top of crime spots

Six out of ten of the highest crime rates in the UK can be found in London, according to new Home Office figures.

Meridian Square in Stratford was the most crime-ridden postcode, with 3, 440 crimes reported in the area.

Next on the list was Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherd's Bush which had some 2, 524 incidents reported.

Westfield Shopping Centre Credit: ITV News

That amounts to nearly two hundred offences in the West London shopping centre every month.

Man fatally stabbed amid gang fight

A confrontation in the crowded Westfield shopping centre just before the Olympics led to murder and a pitched battle between two gangs, a court heard.

Shoppers looked on in horror as Liam Woodards, 24, was stabbed in the chest after glasses and a yoghurt pot were thrown at rivals.

As he lay dying, youths began fighting, throwing metal chairs and brandishing two knives, the Old Bailey was told.

"It was a joint pitched battle," said Aftab Jafferjee QC, prosecuting.

Nii-Azu Kojo Smith, 18, of Hackney Wick, east London, denies murder at the prestigious site next to the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, on June 29.

Seven others aged between 18 and 25 deny violent disorder, while five others have pleaded guilty to various offences, the jury was told.

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