In a heart-wrenching case of mistaken identity, three men from Bradford, along with another accomplice, were found guilty of the murder of 17-year-old Trust Gangata in Armley, Leeds. The verdict was reached at Leeds Crown Court on Thursday, November 30.
Karl Belinga, 20, residing in Holme Wood, Karlson Ogie, 19, from Bierley House Avenue in Bierley, and Paul Mbwasse, 19, from Walpole Road in Huddersfield, were convicted of the brutal stabbing that claimed Trust’s life in March. Brandon Paradzai, 20, of Coleshill Way in Bierley, was also found guilty of manslaughter in connection with the incident.
The tragic events unfolded when Belinga, still reeling from an earlier assault, enlisted Paradzai and Ogie in Armley, eventually picking up Mbwasse in Huddersfield. The quartet, armed with large blades and wearing face coverings, barged into a house party, attacking Trust and fatally stabbing him 14 times.
Crucial communication data, along with GPS and CCTV footage, was utilized by the prosecution, in collaboration with West Yorkshire Police, to reconstruct the timeline of events leading to Trust’s death. The evidence demonstrated the group’s intent for retribution.
Following the assault, a call was made to West Yorkshire Police at 2:48 am, prompting paramedics to rush to the scene. Despite their efforts, Trust could not be resuscitated and was pronounced dead at Leeds General Infirmary at 3:31 am.
The pathologist’s report revealed multiple stab wounds, with the most critical injuries to Trust’s chest, severely damaging his lung and aorta. The prosecution argued that all four men intended to cause serious harm or kill the victim and either carried out the attack or encouraged and assisted others to do so.
The quartet, who had initially given conflicting accounts of the incident, handed themselves into the police on the day of the attack. During subsequent interviews, they denied their level of involvement, placing blame on each other. Mbwasse changed his account after a Magistrates’ Court appearance, admitting to driving to the party armed with a knife but denying intent to kill, claiming he wanted to harm the perpetrator of the earlier assault on Belinga.
The defendants have been remanded in custody and are scheduled to appear at Leeds Crown Court on December 18 for sentencing. Senior Crown Prosecutor Ben Moore expressed condolences to the Gangata family, stating, “Though nothing will ever make up for this devastating loss, we hope they find solace knowing those responsible for Trust’s death will face justice.”