Two teenagers have been jailed for murdering a “vulnerable” 15-year-old boy who was stabbed to death over rumours he had molested a girl.
Michael Irving was lured into a “Trojan horse” trap by the boys he thought were his friends, the Old Bailey was told.
The court heard the teens, now aged 17 and 16, attacked Michael after they heard he had sexually assaulted the older defendant’s sister.
Michael had always denied it and nothing was reported to the police.
The court heard the defendants had arranged to meet Michael outside Westfield Stratford on 3 September last year. They then led him to a residential block 15 minutes away.
Prosecutor Hugh Davies QC said: “The defendants had clearly set Michael up on a friendly but false basis to meet them. It was a Trojan Horse meeting.”
Michael was fatally stabbed in the heart and had four other injuries.
After the defendants ran off, a passer-by stopped, held Michael’s hand and comforted him as he died in the street.
Judge Martin Edmunds QC said both defendants had “murder in mind”, adding: “No motive could justify such a cold-blooded plan.”
‘Something is missing’
The younger defendant admitted murder and was detained for a minimum of 10 years and six months.
The older boy was found guilty of murder following a trial and was detained for at least 14 years and six months.
In a victim impact statement, Michael’s mother Leisa Irving said his murder had left a “large void in all our lives”.
“My life and all the lives of my family have not been the same since. The constant feeling that something is missing – that something is Michael.”
Ms Irving said her son was vulnerable because of his learning difficulties, which meant that he thought everybody was his friend.
She said: “The hardest part was that he believed these people were his friends and he was going to Stratford to be with his friends.”