Two tagged schoolboys who hacked a rival to death with machetes in a gangland hit have been sentenced to life behind bars.
Rahiem Anderson, now 18, and a boy, 16, who cannot be named, murdered Santino Dymiter, 18, “at the bidding” of older gang members.
The pair were just 14 and 16 when they ambushed the victim in a stolen blacked-out Ford S-Max in Chadd Green, east London in August 2019.
When the victim tried to run away they chased him down the street and stabbed him to death with a “succession of terrible blows”.
The killing was linked to an ongoing turf war between the Chadd Green gang and the neighbouring Beckton Boys gang, the Old Bailey was told.
The pair were on electronically monitored tags after serving a sentence for kidnapping and blackmailing another victim when they were aged just 13 and 15 in 2018.
They were foiled when the devices tracked their location at their scene after they came into contact with Santino’s tag.
The victim had been released early from a prison sentence of his own after improving his behaviour in custody and had just landed a job when he was killed, the court heard.
A marigold glove with both the youth’s DNA and the victim’s blood on it was later recovered from the abandoned getaway car following a police search.
An Old Bailey jury convicted them each of murder by a majority of ten-one.
Garbage disposal boss Shaian Forde, 26, was cleared by the jury of hiring the teens, then 14 and 16, to carry out the “barbaric” revenge hit after he was attacked.
One of Forde’s girlfriends, Robyn Willson, 27, was also acquitted of harbouring Anderson as officers hunted for him in the aftermath of the murder.
The teenagers returned to the dock today for their sentence and remained expressionless throughout the hearing.
Maria Dymiter, Santino’s mother, said in a victim impact statement that the killing had “devastated” the family.
The mother said her son had served time in prison but had made a change while in custody and realised “there was more to life than being in trouble and misbehaving”.
The teenager was “looking forward to a future with his girlfriend” and making a fresh start in his new job when the tragic killing happened, the court heard.
“To lose a child through senseless stupid violence is beyond words. I do not want any other mothers, brothers or families to be put through this pain,” Ms Dymiter said.
Santino’s heartbroken girlfriend paid tribute to her “gentle, sweet and charming best friend”.
She said: “I saw his true beauty even in his lowest moments… I saw his true colours shine through.
“He would right matters when I was upset. He would just smile at me and say I love you always and forever. He was taken away from me in the blink of an eye.”
Stephen Moses, defending Anderson, told the court that there had been threats made to his family by older gang members if he didn’t carry out the hit on their behalf.
Mr Moses said: “He has obviously matured significantly since the abhorrent events back in 2019.
“There were threats of retribution to him and his family if he did not do the bidding of older members of the gang.”
Ben Aina, defending the youth, echoed the arguments of Mr Moses, saying the murder had been “at the behest of older gang members who have clearly used him for their own purposes”.
Mr Aina said: “It is still a complete mystery as to how this young child with this apparent character that I have seen could be involved in this type of savagery which has brought another child’s life to an end.
“The pre-sentence report says he struggled to look up and in his own words said he felt very sorry towards the family.
“They have lost a son brother and cousin the sad reality is that this young child will not properly understand what he has done until he is an adult and is able to look back with some experience of life and understand what it means to be involved in taking the life of another human being.”
Passing sentence, Common Serjeant Judge Richard Marks said: “I accept at the bidding of another or others, you had travelled to the scene in a stolen Ford S-Max with false number plates in which you had been driving round for several hours.
“It was a hot August bank holiday Monday. Santino was with a couple of friends outside the home of one of them, Jordan Anthony.
“They immediately and instinctively knew what you were there for and ran away.
“Jordan Anthony was fortunate enough to scramble for safety. Santino Dymiter was not so lucky. He was attacked by both of you with your weapons.”
The judge said the pair had each been sentenced to 27 months detention for conspiracy to blackmail, conspiracy to kidnap and false imprisonment and were out on license at the time of the murder.
Outlining the shocking details of the earlier offence for the first time, the judge said: “The victim was forced into a car when Rahiem Anderson you had a machete sticking out of your waistband.
“He was held at an address for approximately two hours and forced to ring his parents and beg for £1,500 pounds for his release.
“At the time of those extremely serious offences you Rahiem Anderson were 15, and you the 16-year-old were 13.
“Unbeknown to both of you the electronic tags you were fitted with at the time of the murder were capable of ascertaining your whereabouts if you came into contact with any other home-monitoring unit.”
Opening the murder case, prosecutor Jacob Hallam, QC, commented on the “shocking” young ages of the killers at the time of the horrific crime.
Mr Hallam said: “At about 3.20pm on 26 August 2019, Santino Dymiter was hacked to death on the streets of east London.
“He was 18 years old. Santino’s two attackers arrived in a stolen car, with blacked-out windows, bearing false registration plates.
“They were clad all in black, their faces were masked by black bandanas.
“On their hands, they wore latex gloves and in their hands they carried machetes – the weapons they would use to take Santino’s life.
“The attack took place in a residential part of E13 called Chadd Green.
“The two attackers pulled up in the stolen car and went for Santino and his friend, another young man called Jordan Anthony.
“Jordan lived in Chadd Green. Jordan was able to flee to the shelter of his own home. Santino, who was visiting his friend, did not have such a place of refuge.
“He ran, doubtless as fast as he possibly could. But he was caught, and he was killed. Killed by a succession of terrible slashing and stabbing blows.
“Anyone who takes another person’s life in such a terrible and brutal fashion is guilty of murder. The prosecution say that Santino Dymiter’s murderers are sitting in the dock.
“Almost as shocking as the murder Rahiem Anderson and the youth committed is their ages when they committed it: Rahiem Anderson was 16 years old, and the youth was 14.
“How could it possibly be, that in this the first quarter of the 21st century, a young man could have his life taken from him in so barbaric a way on the streets of your city?
“A life taken by two people as young as those two defendants whom I have identified to you?”
Mr Hallam added: “Unfortunately for those involved in the attack, the plan didn’t work.
“Fortunately, evidence relating to that car, its theft, its movements, and its later scientific examination forms a part of the web of evidence in which those involved have now been caught.
“The car was filmed leaving Chadd Green after the attack.
“The S-Max was abandoned off Stansfeld Road where it was found by police.
“Rahiem Anderson’s finger print was recovered on the outside surface of the rear nearside boot window, and from the internal driver’s door handle, of the vehicle.
“The youth’s DNA was recovered from a marigold glove found in the abandoned vehicle that was also covered in the deceased’s blood, and on a cannabis grinder within the vehicle.”
Anderson, of Romford, and the 16-year-old, both denied but were convicted of murder by a majority of ten-one.
Anderson was today to 18 years and three months detention.
The 16-year-old was sentenced to 16 years detention, reflecting their difference in age.