Unsolved Murders

David Nowak

Age: 16

Sex: male

Date: 15 Dec 2007

Place: Somerford Grove, Stoke Newington

Source: news.bbc.co.uk

David Nowak was stabbed to death in a gang fight near the Somerford Community Hall.

Eleven youths were tried for his murder but acquitted due to lack of evidence.

He was attacked in revenge for an earlier attack on another youth by a gang of up to 30 youths.

The youths attacking him were said to have been members of the Holly Street Boys gang and were there to fight members of The Grove Boys gang.

During the fight two members of the Holly Street Boys gang were stabbed and taken to hospital. Another 15-year-old youth was also taken to hospital.

The fight started inside the Somerford Community Hall in Shacklewell Road, Stoke Newington around 11pm where there had been a birthday party. The affray then spread outside where the rest of 30 gang members were waiting.

David Nowak was said to have pulled out a knife when his friend was punched. The other youths in the Holly Street Boys gang were said to have been armed with sticks, bricks, bats and knives and some of them were wearing masks.

David Nowak and his friend were then chased into Somerfield Grove and into a playground area. David Nowak was then heard to shout 'I shanked your friend and I licked the blood of the knife.'. He then tried to escape into the fenced play area but was cornered. He was seen stabbing at his attackers through the fence to ward them off. He was also said to have had blood around his mouth.

A member of the Holly Street Boys gang was then heard to say 'let's stick him'. One of the gang members then left the main group and sneaked up behind David Nowak in the play area and stabbed him in the back. David Nowak then tried to chase his attacker but collapsed in Farleigh Road.

He was taken to the Royal London Hospital but had a massive heart attack and died early the next morning. The stab wound had gone through his liver and a kidney.

Six knives were found at the scene although it was thought that there were more.

At the trial the murder charge was dropped against all eleven suspects although one youth was convicted of grievous bodily harm with intent against David Nowak's friend and violent disorder and sentenced to seven years. The man who was sentenced had been on bail at the time of the attack for antisocial behaviour against police and members of the public. He also had a number of other convictions including abusive behaviour, possession of heroin and having a bladed article and had been a suspect in the murder of Steven Nyembo-Ya-Muteba in October 2006.

The trial heard that there had been a wall of silence and that many people were too frightened to say anything.

The police said that the Holly Street Boys gang were well known to them and that in 2005 one of their leaders had been convicted of the murder of Jadie Brissett who was in The London Fields Boys gang.

David Nowak had lived nearby in Stoke Newington.


*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.


see Murder Map

see BBC

see BBC

see Evening Standard

see BBC Eleven cleared of youth's murder

see BBC Sentence after brawl knife death