Unsolved Murders

Joshua Bwalya

Age: 16

Sex: male

Date: 2 Aug 2017

Place: Movers Lane, Barking, London

Joshua Bwalya was stabbed in Movers Lane, near the junction with Ripple Road, Barking, in the early hours of Wednesday 2 August 2017.

He was taken to hospital by paramedics but was declared dead on arrival. His post mortem stated that he had died from multiple stab wounds to the chest.

Two 20-year-old men were sent for trial over his murder but their cases were discontinued at the Old Bailey in October 2017. They had also been charged with two counts of attempted murder relating to a 16-year-old and a 20-year-old who were also injured in the attack.

It was said that Joshua Bwalya had been stabbed to death by a gang of youths on bikes in an ambush after a party in what was described as a postcode war.

The gang of youth's had earlier gate crashed a party at the local community centre, the Ripple Centre, on the Tuesday night, 1 August 2017. The party had had to close early after the group of twenty youths arrived and a fight broke out.

Joshua Bwalya had been on his way home at the time with his two friends when they were ambushed by a group of youths riding bicycles and wearing balaclavas. The group chased Joshua Bwalya and his friends into a 24-hour-supermarket in Ripple Road at about 1am. The chase then went back out into the street where Joshua Bwalya was stabbed at the junction of Ripple Road with Movers Lane.

After being stabbed Joshua Bwalya's friends banged on the doors of nearby houses for help and some passers-by tried to medically attend to Joshua Bwalya.

The police said, 'They were dressed in dark clothing, and some of them are thought to have been wearing bandana-type face coverings and hoods. They would have looked out of place and I am certain someone would have seen where they went'. It was said that the attack had been related to a postcode war and that the gang members had been from a rival Barking estate.

His sister said, 'He was just in the wrong place in the wrong time, a victim of a postcode war. It was because of where he was from, not who he was, they were just after anyone. It’s shocking how innocent people are dragged into this'.

One of the men that was charged with murder before the cases were dropped was noted as having had the same name and age as a man that was convicted of the murder of 19-year-old Hasan Ozcan who was stabbed near a sports court in Barking on 3 February 2019. In that murder a man had been stabbed and within three hours the youths had gone out on their bicycles looking to exact revenge and stabbed Hasan Ozcan to death. The youth with the same name and age who is thought to be the same youth that was charged with Joshua Bwalya's murder was sentenced to 24 years imprisonment. Another youth was also convicted of the murder of Hasan Ozcan and sentenced to 19 years.

Joshua Bwalya's parents were originally from Zambia.

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