Co-defendant blames Stevenage teenager for murder of 17-year-old Champion Ganda

Champion Ganda

Champion Ganda - Credit: Archant

A 19-year-old from Stevenage has been blamed in court by a co-defendant for the murder of 17-year-old Champion Ganda in London in 2013.

Amani Lynch of Canterbury Way, Stevenage, is charged with murder, attempted murder and GBH.

along with Devante Clifford, 21, of Lawrence Street, Canning Town and Marvin Simos, 19, of Canning Town.

Champion suffered up to 11 stab wounds in Sandringham Road, Forest Gate, and died at the scene, on May 9, 2013.

On Wednesday, Mr Clifford took to the witness box at the Old Bailey and said while he admits being one of five males becoming involved in a fight on the day, he denies stabbing the Harold Hill teenager or even knowing Champion would be there before arriving.

Instead he said while Champion had him in a headlock, it was co-defendant Mr Lynch who carried out the stabbing.

While under cross examination from defending barrister Michael Holland QC, who is representing Lynch, Clifford denied having any part to play in Champion’s tragic death.

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“Champion’s family have been suffering for however long, they deserve to know the truth,” he said.

“I feel for them but I did not kill Champion Ganda, I am sorry but it was your client.

“Why would I blame someone who is innocent?”

Mr Holland suggested Clifford and Lynch had fallen out when they were younger over a girl which the 21-year-old denied.

Mr Clifford also answered questions about fleeing the country to St Lucia following Champion’s death.

Last summer he was extradited from St Lucia to the UK to answer the charges.

Mr Holland queried why it took Mr Clifford almost two years to return to the country, despite his mother telling him police wanted to speak to him.

The defendant told the court how he feared for his own safety should he return.

“It’s not as easy as it seems to come back,” he said.

“I knew it would be comfortable for me over there and easy to settle in and start a new life.”

All three defendants deny murder and the trial continues.

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