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Published: 11:55, 14 June 2018
| Updated: 20:12, 14 June 2018
Five teenage gang members who fatally attacked a defenceless 17-year-old boy “like vultures” have been jailed for life.
Gang leader Victor Maibvisira, 19, inflicted the wounds that killed Kyle Yule and was handed the longest minimum sentence of 24 years.
Ephrain Akinwunmi-Streets, 17, Tyler Ralph, 17, Shezakia Daley, 18, and Jordan Dania, 16, will have to each serve 16 years.
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Kyle's mother Nikki Yule wept as she read out a moving victim impact statement to the packed court.
She told the five teenagers: "The night you took the life of my beautiful loved son has ruined my family's life forever."
Describing Kyle, the eldest of her four children, as her best friend, Ms Yule called the murder “savage”, adding: “I will never be the same again.”
Her other children, she said, were afraid to go out because they were so overwhelmed about what happened.
The youngest child, aged six, was suffering nightmares, waking up crying at night.
“To those involved in taking his life, how dare you sit there and look forward to your birthday?" - Nikki Yule
Ms Yule said Kyle was looking forward to his 18th birthday in November last year, but never got to celebrate it.
“His funeral was two days after his birthday,” she said. “To those involved in taking his life, how dare you sit there and look forward to your birthday?
“He will never get to see another birthday or Christmas again. He will never get married, never have children, never have a chance to see his brothers and sisters grow up.”
Ms Yule said her family would now have to leave their home as the memories were too painful.
She referred to the five teenagers as “cowards running around with knives”.
“Nobody has the right to take somebody else’s life,” she continued.
“That night I have been told my son was screaming, begging you to stop, and you just carried on.
“He would not hurt anyone. He was not in a gang. He would not start a fight. I know my baby was petrified. He never stood a chance.
“I had to arrange a funeral for my son when I should have been planning his 18th birthday. I want justice for my deeply missed son.”
Judy Khan, QC for Maibvisira, submitted it was unclear who inflicted the fatal wound, but Judge Adele Williams said: “I don’t agree with the Crown’s assertion. In my judgement, it is clear on the evidence that Maibvisira is the stabber.”
Miss Khan said the evidence was “less than clear” it was her client who inflicted the fatal wound.
“The reality is this was a group attack with at least one knife, and on the evidence two knives,” she said.
She agreed there was clear evidence Maibvisira was “a stabber”.
Miss Khan said there was another side to the teenager. He was studying pharmaceutical science at the time of the attack. His father was a psychiatric nurse and his mother a carer in a care home.
Maibvisira, of St John's Road, Gillingham, Akinwunmi-Streets, from Sittingbourne, Ralph, from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, Daley, 18, of Priestfield Road, Gillingham, and Dania, from Croydon, south London, all denied murder and violent disorder but were found guilty last week.
Akinwunmi-Streets, known as Velz, was also convicted of an affray committed six days before Kyle died.
He was stabbed, punched and kicked as he tried to flee to his best friend's home in Gillingham.
Passing sentence, Judge Williams said the five had been convicted of the wilful murder of Kyle “on clear and compelling evidence”.
She said: This case illustrates the problems which occur when young men such as you carry knives and use knives.
“You all had a fascination with knives. I have no doubt you all thought it was glamorous and macho to carry a knife.
“You, Ephrain Akinwunmi-Streets, said in interview you all sometimes wore masks to scare people. You all though it would make people look up to you and to fear you.
“You were all running out of control at this time. You believed the law did not apply to you. During the trial, you all sought to blame each other.”
“This was a revenge attack upon another group,” she said. “It was a senseless, ruthless and calculated killing, for which not one of you has at any stage shown any sign of remorse.”
Judge Williams stressed that the teenagers would not be released until the parole board considered it was safe to do so.
“You may each serve longer than the minimum term I have specified,” she said. “You may never be released.”
CCTV had shown the gang running or cycling down East Street “with a common purpose”.
“You all followed Kyle across the road and engaged in a joint attack upon him, trapping him in what was a very small and narrow front garden.
“All of you were playing your part. He was stamped upon, punched and kicked. He was also stabbed four times, and one of those stab wounds severed an artery in the armpit area of the right arm.
“He was begging you to stop, but you ignored him. Not one of you showed him any mercy. This particular wound bled profusely so that blood was pouring out.
“Witnesses remarked how during the attack there was no shouting and no anger demonstrated. One witness said you were silent and sly. This was, therefore, cold and calculating.”
The judge said Kyle had his whole life ahead of him and was much loved by his extended family. She described the victim statement by his mother as “so very moving”.
“Nothing I can say, nor any sentence I can pass can in any way assuage the grief and despair of all those so deeply affected by his death,” she said.
“I am sure on all the evidence before me that you Victor Maibvisira were the person who stabbed Kyle Yule, and that it was you who delivered the fatal stab wound.”
His DNA profile was recovered from a sheath found at the scene and Kyle had shouted at him: “Stop, that’s enough Vee, I get the point. I am sorry.”
A witness said she saw Maibvisira stab Kyle. Maibvisira had a cut to his little finger, which was consistent with coming from the knife used.
“I am sure that you Victor Maibvisira intended to kill Kyle Yule,” said the judge.
He had previously told a girl he had wanted to kill Kyle and his best friend Lewis Dilallo.
The attack on the evening of October 6 last year was triggered by a stolen bike and followed several violent clashes between two gangs known as C4 and G10 in the Medway towns.
The cycle theft was said to be the “final insult” to Maibvisira, known as Vee.
Maidstone Crown Court heard he “gathered his troops”, “tooled up” with a knife and attacked Kyle as “payback” for a split lip he had suffered in an earlier confrontation with another youth.
Witnesses described hearing Kyle screaming for help and his mum as he was viciously hacked at with a machete.
He was also heard pleading with Maibvisira: “Vee stop, I’ve had enough. I get the point.”
The hooded and masked teenagers then fled on foot or bikes, leaving Kyle dying.
The gang pounced as he was sitting in a friend’s Renault Clio in East Street at about 8pm. They smashed the windscreen and a side window and slashed a tyre.
Kyle tried to run to the safety of his best friend Lewis Dilallo’s home, but only made it to the doorstep. Within seconds, he was knifed five times.
The teenager, who lived in nearby Hamilton Road, suffered a fatal wound to a major artery in his right armpit and died on the operating table at Medway Hospital in the early hours of October 7.
Just 24 hours before the killing police had spoken to Kyle and Lewis, 18, about the feud.
There had been a series of conflicts in eight weeks in which Maibvisira, a pharmaceutical science college student, brandished a Ninja-type sword at Kyle and warned Lewis, to “get his coffin ready”.
Officers suggested they left the area to let the situation cool and even warned the pair: "This isn't f------ funny, one of you will be dead soon.”
Maibvisira and Daley, known by as S or Shez, had admitted making threats with a machete in relation to the same incident.
During it the teenagers threatened and attempted to attack two men outside a pub in Gillingham Road, Gillingham, using knives and a belt.
They confronted a man outside the Fleur de Lis pub in Gillingham. CCTV showed a masked Maibvisira armed with the knife making a slitting motion across his throat.
Maibvisira and Daley – the only two to give evidence – blamed each other for the stabbing.
The jury saw videos from Ralph’s phone in which he was masked and brandishing knives. In one clip he waves a machete as a young woman says: “F--- with me, f--- with him.”
Just six months before Kyle died, Ralph slashed a man to his head in a knife attack in broad daylight at a McDonald's in Penge, south east London.
During the trial, Judge Williams was told that threats had been made by defendants to each other as well as prison officers. One also threatened to escape.
Kyle's mum, Nikki Yule, who attended the eight-week trial, sobbed when the verdicts were returned. The jury deliberated for 16 hours.