A man has been found guilty of murdering a teenager due to an argument on WhatsApp over gay insults.
Jordan Wright, 19, was stabbed to death by Paul Akinnuoye, 20, from Tunbridge Wells in Kent, U.K. after an escalation of trading homophobic slurs in a WhatsApp group called “Ice city boyz.”
Akinnuoye called Wright a “batty boy,” a Jamaican slur against gays, whilst Wright responded by saying “On your mum’s life I’m straighter than you.”
The pair then arranged to meet up for a fight in Blackheath, South East London on April 19 last year. Three others were with them.
The two fought at Shooters Hill but, unbeknownst to Wright, Akinnuoye had armed himself with a small knife, which he used to fatally stab Wright with. Wright, the court heard, was under the impression that the fight was a “fist-fight ting.”
Wright was stabbed repeatedly during the fight and collapsed near a road junction whilst Akinnuoye fled the scene in a taxi. Part of the knife was left behind, however, and was identified by a specialist sniffer dog called Dizzy as belonging to a set of knives owned by Akinnuoye.
Though Akinnuoye tried to dispose of his phone to cover his tracks, he was apprehended, though initially denied involvement to the police and claimed he was not at the scene when the stabbing happened. In court, however, he admitted he was at the scene yet still attempted to blame someone else for the murder of Wright.
The Old Bailey jury found Akinnuoye guilty after only a day of deliberation.
Wrights family are said to be “devastated” whilst the murder has caused a “big shock” to Wright’s local community.
“You don’t realise until it happens to you how far reaching one moment of madness can be and what an impact it can make on your life forever. There is not one day when I don’t shed tears,” Katharine Alade, Wright’s mother, said.
“I could have dealt with him dying at such a young age through illness, but not by the hands of a boy the sae age as him and over what?”
Wright’s father, Neville, added, “He was very loving, funny, and a very caring person, as well as a very popular person. I think of him every day …of what he could have achieved in life – he is gone, but not forgotten.”
feature image: Paul Akinnuoye via BBC
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