Unsolved Murders

Koy Bentley

Age: 15

Sex: male

Date: 5 Jun 2017

Place: Rainbow House, Water Lane, Watford

Koy Bentley was stabbed at a flat in Rainbow House, Water Lane in Watford whilst dealing drugs on the afternoon of 5 June 2017.

He had been at the flat with another teenager and a man dealing drugs whilst two women were in the bedroom taking drugs at which point one of the other people, the teenager or the man stabbed him after a sudden disagreement.

The police and ambulance were called out to the flat on the fifth floor at about 2.30pm on 5 June 2017 but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Following the stabbing the teenager and the man ran from the flat and one of them discarded the murder weapon, a kitchen knife, in some bushes in an alleyway where it was later recovered by the police.

Koy Bentley had lived in Watford and had previously been a pupil at Queens School in Bushey. When he was found dead he was described as having been found dead at a 'stranger's flat'.

Following his death it was reported that mourners had gone to Rainbow House to lay flowers and that two crying teenage girls were said to have said that they had no idea why Koy Bentley would have been at the flat as he had not lived there.

Although he had been stabbed twice, his post mortem stated that he had died from a single stab wound to the chest. It was noted that the knife that had been used to kill him had likely been owned by his mother.

Following the discovery of his body residents at Rainbow House were ordered to evacuate the building whilst the police carried out their investigations and it was said that residents were kept out by police nearly all night. One witness said, 'They weren't allowed in and if they did go in, they weren't allowed out again. It happened on floor five, but they can't have known that at first because they were on every floor'.

The teenager was arrested soon after in Willesden, North West London whilst the 21-year-old man was arrested in Lewisham. Another 24-year-old was also arrested at the time in Greenwich on suspicion of murder.

The teenager was tried for his murder but acquitted although he later admitted conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

The teenager had admitted being at the flat at the time that Koy Bentley was stabbed but said that the 21-year-old man had also been there and that it was the 21-year-old man that had stabbed him. However, the 21-year-old man denied that he had stabbed Koy Bentley and said that it was the teenager who had stabbed Koy Bentley.

The 21-year-old man was also convicted of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs as well as perverting the course of justice.

The flat in Rainbow House had been used to deal drugs and it was said by the prosecution at the trial that Koy Bentley and the teenager and the 21-year-old had been using it to supply class A drugs.

There had been two women in the bedroom of the flat at the time smoking heroin and crack cocaine after having exchanged bottles of aftershave that they had stolen for drugs.

At the same time Koy Bentley along with the teenager and the 21-year-old had been in the living room, at which point Koy Bentley was said to have been stabbed. After Koy Bentley was stabbed the teenager and the 21-year-old fled the flat.

Koy Bentley was stabbed in the chest with the knife passing through the chest cavity and through his lower left lung and into his heart.

The prosecution said, 'The two knew each other and maybe were even friends, but the evidence suggests a disagreement suddenly arose between them and the accused stabbed Koy Bentley not once, but twice in his chest'.

When the 21-year-old man gave evidence he said that he, Koy Bentley and the teenager had all been together in the living room with the teenager sitting on a sofa and Koy Bentley sitting in a swivel chair when he became suddenly aware that the teenager had moved over to where Koy Bentley was sitting and took hold of him by the neck with one hand.

He said that Koy Bentley told the teenager to stop. At the trial he said 'I told them to stop messing about. I said you are like kids, something like that, I don’t remember'. He said that he then returned to what he was doing and then heard a 'movement' and then looked over again. He said, 'I heard a movement, like a swivel chair movement. I heard a thud. I thought it was a punch. I heard Koy say 'Are you done' twice'. He added that after that Koy Bentley said, 'sorry' and that he was still holding his phone.

When the 21-year-old was asked about what the teenager was doing at the time, he said, 'He had a knife in his right hand. It was a stainless steel knife. It had blood on it., on the tip of the blade. His arms were by his side'.

He said that Koy Bentley then stood up from his chair and pulled his jumper up and that he could see blood pouring out from under his left armpit.

He said that he first thought that Koy Bentley had been punched, but said that as they were both staring at the blood that Koy Bentley began to lose consciousness. He said that moments after that the teenager fled the flat and that after he left he saw him hide the knife under a bush outside in an alleyway nearby.

It was heard that following the murder that the 21-year-old man had contacted one of the girls that had been in the bedroom at the time taking drugs to lie to the ambulance crew about how Koy Bentley came to be stabbed and had also instructed the other woman to go back to the flat to remove incriminating evidence and it was for that that he was later convicted of perverting the course of justice.

However, at the trial the teenager said that it had been the 21-year-old man that had stabbed Koy Bentley.

At the trial the teenagers barrister questioned him:

  • Barrister: Did you kill Koy Bentley?
  • Teenager: No Sir.
  • Barrister: Did you want to hurt Koy at all on the day he died?
  • Teenager: No.
  • Barrister: Did you ever want to hurt Koy?
  • Teenager: No Sir.

The teenager said that Koy Bentley had been sitting in the swivel chair when the 21-year-old man had asked him, 'What happened to that pack I gave you?', and said that Koy Bentley had told him that he had lost it.  He said that the 21-year-old then asked Koy Bentley, 'What do you mean you have lost a pack?'. The teenager said that he didn't think that it looked serious but said that the 21-year-old then said, 'Why are you not speaking?', noting that he could not see Koy Bentley because the 21-year-old had been standing in front of him.

The teenager then said, referring to the 21-year-old man, 'That’s when he stepped back to where he was sitting and grabbed the white knife'.

He said that he thought that the 21-year-old was simply going to threaten him with the knife to make him speak and said that the 21-year-old man then said again, 'Why are you not talking?', whilst at the same time pointing the knife at Koy Bentley.

The teenager then said, 'I didn’t think nothing of it, I thought it was a bit intimidating. That's when he stabbed him. Koy wasn’t speaking, I think he was in shock. It was twice, but it was quick. It wasn’t hard, hard force, but there was force with it. I froze, I literally froze'.

The teenager then said that the 21-year-old man then turned to him and said, 'Grab your s--- bro'.

He said that Koy Bentley then stood up and unzipped his top and that he saw blood pouring out of his wounds and that he then got an Adidas top that belonged to Koy Bentley and put it over where the wound was and applied pressure to it but that moments after that he grabbed his phone charger and cigarette box and that he and the 21-year-old man left the flat and that on their way out the 21-year-old hid the knife under a bush in a nearby alleyway.

At the trial, the antecedents of the teenager were heard. He said that he had been brought up by his mother in North West London before they moved with his sister to an estate in Westminster known for its gang activity. He said he received a six-month referral order when he was 12 for the attempted robbery of a mobile phone and that when he was 13 he started to get involved with drugs and started using cannabis. He said that after that he was given a Youth Rehabilitation Order after being convicted for threatening behaviour and aggravated vehicle taking and that in September 2015 he was given an 18-month Youth Rehabilitation Order for four offences of supplying Class A drugs to undercover police officers. He additionally noted that he had a conviction for possessing an offensive weapon, a knife, that he said he had had on him for his own protection when caught.

The teenager said that he had met the 21-year-old man through the Instagram mobile phone social media communications system. He said that they initially talked about drugs and that within three days of meeting that it was arranged for him to be collected by car from Dagenham East Railway Station and taken to Watford in order to sell drugs. He said that he was initially taken to an address in Derby Road, Watford where he met the 21-year-old where he started selling Class A drugs to customers.

The trial took place at St Albans Crown Court and the jury retired for 20 minutes before returning their verdict of not guilty of murder against the teenager.

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