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Ayodeji Habeeb Azeez murder trial: Girl who 'lured' victim to his death tells court she wants justice for his family

PUBLISHED: 17:00 13 November 2019

Ayodeji Habeeb Azeez from Dagenham who was fatally stabbed in Anerley. Picture: Met Police

Ayodeji Habeeb Azeez from Dagenham who was fatally stabbed in Anerley. Picture: Met Police

Archant

The mother of a Dagenham man killed in an Anerley car park broke down after a girl accused of his murder told a court she wants to help his family get justice.

Ayodeji Habeeb Azeez believed he was meeting a 16-year old girl he was chatting to on Snapchat when he was driving to the car park on November 4 last year.

Instead the 22-year old was stabbed 16 times suffering wounds to his torso, back and shoulders before dying in Samos Road.

Brandon Griffiths, 20, of Malcolm Close, Penge; Chaise Gray, 24, of Harding Court, South Norwood; Kevin Lusala, 22, of Eldred Drive, Orpington; Jamie Marshall, 18, of Burham Close, Penge, and the girl from Croydon, now 17, who can't be named for legal reasons, deny murder and conspiracy to rob.

Asked how she felt about Ayodeji's death at the Old Bailey trial on Wednesday, November 13, the girl said: "I'm sad, but his family are going to be a hundred times more sad than I feel."

Ayodeji's mother burst into tears when the girl added: "Now I'm maturing and realising what the situation is, I now know I need to tell the truth and help get justice for Ayodeji's murder and that's what I'm doing."

Dorian Lovell-Pank QC, defending, read a statement the girl gave in a police interview in which she denied luring Ayodeji via Snapchat, telling officers Mr Lusala, known as Crims, borrowed her phone.

She told police Crims wanted her to bring Ayodeji back to a flat in Brook Brown House near the car park and that she had no idea the intention was to hurt him.

The statement said Ayodeji was rushed at as he and the girl got out of his blue BMW Sedan. She panicked and ran back to Brook Brown House, telling police she had no idea what happened until she saw the news.

But jurors heard the girl told friends she was glad Ayodeji was dead because he would not be able to give evidence.

The girl said: "I did make a very harsh remark at that time. I was trying to be brave. But I didn't mean it."

She agreed with Mr Lovell-Pank that she was feeling "cagey" in her first police interview because her cousin was with her, which made her less cooperative.

Julia Smart QC, defending Mr Lusala, said the girl had her phone, alleging she would have felt as if her arm had been cut off had she lost it to anyone.

Ms Smart said the girl needed to invent a way of explaining why Ayodeji made the trip to Anerley. She added her client didn't know Ayodeji.

"You are the only contact with Mr Azeez. You have to suggest somebody else went on your phone," Ms Smart said.

The girl replied: "No, I have to say the truth. I don't need to get out of it. I'm here saying what I'm saying because I need to get justice for the boy. He didn't need to die."

She denied having the phone in her hand when she got a notification on November 4 saying Ayodeji was in the area.

The girl said Mr Lusala - in a "tone that was not polite" - pressurised her into changing from jeans to shorts before going outside to meet Ayodeji.

Asked why she didn't just leave Brook Brown House, the girl replied she and her best friend had tried but were prevented by the co-defendants.

Ms Smart alleged the girl switched off her phone between 12.14pm and 12.24pm to avoid her movements being tracked, which she denied.

The girl also denied hugging Ayodeji before getting into his car and that they had a closer relationship than she was suggesting.

She said she didn't warn Ayodeji he could be in danger because she felt threatened herself.

"It's something I do regret. I didn't make the arrangements," she said.

The trial continues.

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