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Four guilty of murdering NHS worker targeted at random in ‘petty game’ of gang warfare

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Four gang members have been found guilty of the brutal killing of a 24-year-old NHS worker in Newham, east London.

David Gomoh was repeatedly stabbed in the street on 26 April last year as he spoke to his girlfriend on the phone.

The marketing graduate, who worked in NHS procurement, staggered back to his east London home and died in front of his family.

David Gomoh. Pic: Metropolitan Police
Image: David Gomoh was picked at random by the gang members. Pic: Metropolitan Police

Jurors heard the victim had nothing to do with gangs, but was targeted in an ongoing feud involving three gangs and the “petty but fatal game of one-upmanship” played out on the streets of London.

He was picked at random by the Northside Newham Gang to send a message to rival Custom House and Beckton gangs.

Afterwards, investigators uncovered graphic sketches by one of his killers which revealed a chilling “picturebook story” of the events leading up to the murder.

David Ture, 19, of no fixed address; Vagnei Colubali, 22, of Cambridge; Muhammad Jalloh, 19, of no fixed address, and a 17 year-old boy from Telford, Shropshire, were found guilty of Mr Gomoh’s murder on Wednesday following a trial at the Old Bailey.

The defendants were also convicted of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent to another man who got away and has never been identified.

Members of Mr Gomoh’s family were at the central London court and gasped as the verdicts were read out.

The defendants armed themselves with knives, changed clothes and got a stolen car with false number plates before setting off to south Newham to find someone to attack, the court heard.

They first chased an unidentified man who managed to run away.

Less than an hour later, Mr Gomoh left home to go to the local supermarket and was chatting to his girlfriend on a mobile phone who heard someone demand “where are you from” and sounds of a struggle.

After fatally stabbing Mr Gomoh, the attackers fled the scene in a stolen car driven by Colubali.

A pair of sunglasses left at the murder scene was found to have the 17-year-old defendant’s DNA on it, while a second pair of glasses inside the discarded getaway car had Jalloh’s DNA on it.

Drawings of the attack were found in Ture’s bedroom showing a number of young men carrying out a stabbing in order to attack one of their rivals.

David Ture, 19. Pic: Metropolitan Police
Image: Sketches were discovered in 19-year-old David Ture’s bedroom. Pic: Metropolitan Police

The sketches – which detectives said were a “picturebook story of the events leading up to the murder” and included detail only the killers would have known – not only showed the location of Mr Gomoh’s murder but also the clothes the defendants had worn.

Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC said: “What had David Gomoh done to deserve such a fate? He had the misfortune to live in an area of London that is frequented by rival gangs.”

Jurors deliberated for almost 15 hours before returning the verdicts following the trial which lasted six-and-a-half weeks.

Vagnei Colubali, 22. Pic: Metropolitan Police
Image: Vagnei Colubali, 22, and Muhammad Jalloh, 19, (pictured below). Pics: Metropolitan Police
Muhammad Jalloh, 19. Pic: Metropolitan Police

David’s mum Marian said: “David’s murder is without doubt the hardest thing my family and I have been through. It is something that no parent should ever go through. While this has been painful beyond words, I am beyond grateful to God that today we have seen justice.”

She added: “Nothing will bring back a life that was so full of promise and hope, a life that was brutally taken away from us – but we are grateful that now we can begin to mourn and build a fitting legacy for David.”

David Gomoh's sister Lizzie Gomoh (L) and his mother Marian Gomoh react to the guilty verdicts outside court
Image: David Gomoh’s sister Lizzie Gomoh (L) and his mother Marian Gomoh react to the guilty verdicts outside court

Detective Chief Inspector Laurence Smith, who led the investigation, said: “David was a young man with ambitions to make something of himself but his life was cruelly snatched away at the age of just 24.

“He was not involved in any gang nor was he mistaken by the group for someone they knew. His only crime – in their eyes – was that he lived in the wrong part of Newham and so was classed as a rival.”

He added: “The four defendants set out that night ready and armed for savage violence and it was obvious from the evidence gathered that their attack was premeditated.

“What they had not worked out was who their victim would be. They did not know David, they did not care who he was or whether he was involved in a rival gang. He was simply a fair target in their petty game.”

The defendants – who had all denied being present at the scene of the killing – will be sentenced on 17 September.