Alleged killer of Islington teen stabbed in Camden denies attack was gang “payback”

PUBLISHED: 15:33 18 February 2020 | UPDATED: 17:07 18 February 2020

Alex Smith was murdered in Camden on August 12 last year. Picture: Met Police

Alex Smith was murdered in Camden on August 12 last year. Picture: Met Police


The man accused of killing an Islington teenager in Camden has denied carrying out the murder as “payback” in a gang feud.

Tributes laid for the 16-year-old. Picture: Polly HancockTributes laid for the 16-year-old. Picture: Polly Hancock

Alex Smith, 16, was fatally stabbed in Munster Square on August 12 last year shortly after 11pm.

The murder was a "tit-for-tat" retaliatory attack following a dispute between Camden gangs from the Regent's Park and Agar Grove estates, Inner London Crown Court has been told.

Arif Biomy, 19, of Wickham Lane, Plumstead, denies murdering Mr Smith, who grew up near Holloway Road and went to school in Tufnell Park.

Prosecutor Brian O'Neill QC said Biomy was "well-versed" in the "methods, beefs and feuds" of the Agar Grove gang.

Munster Square, in the Regent's Park Estate. Picture: Sam VolpeMunster Square, in the Regent's Park Estate. Picture: Sam Volpe

Mr O'Neill said this gang hunted down Mr Smith as part of a targeted attack on the 'Cumbo' gang, from the Regent's Park estate.

The court heard on Tuesday (February 18) that Biomy himself had been stabbed in two previous attacks. In December 2017 he was stabbed four times and on May 19 last year, he was stabbed two times in St Pancras Way, nearly losing his life.

Mr O'Neill said: "This was something that there had to be payback for - is that correct?"

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"No," replied Biomy.

The jury was shown pictures of Biomy and Agar Grove associates making gun signs, the shape of an 'A' - believed to be a sign for the Agar Grove gang - and a hand gesture, thought to represent the NW5 area.

Taken around a "homecoming" barbecue held for his return after his stabbing in May, Biomy denied the photos were warnings to rival gangs.

On the night of Mr Smith's murder, Biomy admitted driving a car to a house in Longford Street, near to Munster Square where the victim was found stabbed.

Biomy said he knew something "bad" and "criminal" was happening inside but that he played no physical part as he waited outside. He said: "I didn't believe that they were out there to harm someone".

Biomy, who admitted he was a drug dealer, denied being a "getaway driver" for the gang, despite knowing that "something was up" in Longford Street.

He also denied any physical assault in the stabbing of Mr Smith.

Yusuf Yusuf, 19, of Sandwell Crescent, who originally stood trial charged with two counts of assisting an offender, has since pleaded guilty to one count and been acquitted of the other.

The trial continues.

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