A 20 year old man and three 15 year olds who stabbed a battered another boy to death were today (12 April) found guilty of murder.
In the gang related attack, one of the 15 year olds even used a mobile phone to film their victim, Cemeren Yilmaz, on Snapchat as he lay defenceless on the ground.
During the trial at St Albans crown court, the jury heard Cemeren, who was 16, told his brother he expected to be attacked because of the hostility between two rival gangs, one of which he was a member of.
The four found guilty today were linked to a gang based in Bedford known as the “Black Tom” gang.
Cemeren Yilmez, was linked to another gang in the town known as the “Mile Road” gang.
On 16 September last year, Cemeren was chased by 19 year old Aaron Miller and one of the 15 year olds and, after falling to the ground, was stabbed by a large knife which caused a severe injury to his kidney.
Moments later, two other members of the gang, who were both aged 15, are alleged to have arrived on the scene with a hammer to deliver a series of blows to the victim’s head and face.
The jury heard it was as blows rained down on Cemeren that one of the teenagers filmed the attack using a Snapchat app on a mobile phone.
Cemeren died in hospital the following day having suffered massive internal injuries and surgery to remove a kidney.
He had also suffered a fractured skull and brain damage as well as two cardiac arrests.
In court the four said to have taken part in the attack pleaded not guilty to murder.
Only one defendant, an Aaron Miller, 20, of Tavistock Street in Bedford can be named.
The three 15 year old boys, two from Bedford and one from Ealing, cannot be identified because of their ages.
At the trial, the CPS presented compelling evidence using the Snapchat video recorded during the attack, showing that two of the defendants had used a hammer to hit Cemeren.
That Snapchat video was overlaid on a 999 call which captured the hammer attack and the second set of defendants fleeing.
In addition, two defendants were recorded speaking in the police van, making it plain that the knife and hammer attack were part of a concerted plan to ‘end off’ [kill] Cemeren, who was nicknamed ‘Jems’.
One of the defendants was heard to say “..Jems done so much wrong, like Jems, like he done wrong to like our people innit and in the bible it says defend your people, does it not… it says love your neighbour and my neighbour is my people innit so if I’m defending my people, it wasn’t supposed to go that far..”
He continued: “just defending my people innit. It’s not, it’s not like I end him off [kill him] for no reason…”
Prosecutor Stuart Trimmer QC told the court: “This is a case some might find grotesque and some might find shocking.”
He told the court the background to what happened on the night of September 16 last year concerned the “hostility” which existed between two rival gangs based in Bedford.
Mr Trimmer said there was substantial hostility between the two gangs, which was something that worried Cemeren: “He spoke of fears he had for his future to relatives.
“He told his brother he expected to be attacked because of this hostility.”
The jury heard how, on the evening of Sunday September 16 last year, Cemeren got a taxi from his home in the village of Harrold and travelled to a housing estate in Bedford.
There he met up with some friends and the group were later in Ashmead Road in Bedford.
Also in the area that evening was one of the 15 year old defendants who, with two other youths, was standing by a damaged motorcycle close to a park area.
Mr Trimmer said shortly after 9pm, a CCTV camera in the street captured Cemeren and other youths running towards the group by the motorcycle causing them to flee.
Moments later, the court heard, Cemeren was seen again on CCTV running away and clutching a bag.
The prosecutor said it was this that may have motivated the 15 year old boy and his co-defendants “to exact revenge.”
After the jury had brought in their guilty verdicts on all four defendants, Mr Justice Bryan QC, who had presided over the trial, said he would not be sentencing them today because he wanted reports prepared on them.
Detective Chief Inspector Mike Branston, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, who led the investigation, said: “This was a brutal and savage attack which has tragically cut short a child’s life.
“Cemeren was stabbed with such force that the knife almost passed through his body. The fact he was further attacked so brutally while he lay on the ground dying is sickening.
“Miller and the three other boys have been involved in an attack of extreme violence and it is right that they have been found guilty for their role in this appalling crime.”
Senior Crown Prosecutor Nick Ramage for the CPS added: “Our priority in this case was to prove that Cemeren’s attackers set out to seriously harm or kill him, so that justice could be served for him and his family.
“We were able to present CCTV footage and statements from witnesses in court which placed the four defendants at the scene of this attack,
“However, it was the evidence we showed in the form of the video posted on social media and a recorded conversation between two of the offenders that clearly demonstrated to the jury the attackers’ intent to kill Cemeren.
“This tragic case brings home the devastating impact that gang membership and its associated crimes can have.”
The case was adjourned for the reports to be prepared.