A 16-year-old boy has denied stabbing a teenage boy to death while playing football in a busy park.
Hazrat Wali, an Afghan refugee, died on 12 October 2021 following the attack in Craneford Way, Twickenham.
Police moved to the scene to report that a fight had broken out between a group of young men.
The playground was busy with school children and members of the public, with a local gymnastics teacher administering CPR before paramedics arrived.
Despite the best efforts of the emergency services, he died at the hospital at 17.54.
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The teenager, who for legal reasons can not be named, appeared today (Tuesday, January 11) at Old Bailey charged with murder, for which he pleaded not guilty.
However, he pleaded guilty to possession of an article with magazines in a public place.
Hazrat was the 25th teenager to be killed on the streets of London in 2021.
The 18-year-old, who lived in Notting Hill, had arrived in the UK from Afghanistan two years earlier in search of a better life.
He was a student at Richmond upon Thames College, who issued a statement in which he said: “Hazrat had a bright future ahead of him. His friends and staff at the college will remember him with joy as a bright and polite young man, well-liked by the staff and his close group of friends.
“The college community is hurt, but we will continue to do everything we can to support our students, staff and families in this traumatic time.”
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One of Hazrat’s friends, Sahil Kochay, said: “He was a very good person. Very caring and loved everyone.
“He had no hatred for anyone. He used to stand up for everyone. I wish I knew why someone would hurt him. He was not the type to fight.”
The 16-year-old defendant appeared via video link from the Feltham Young Offenders Institution and spoke only to confirm his name.
A trial date has not yet been set.
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