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Stabbing: A third boy held.

Byline: By Simon Baker

Police investigating the murder of a 14-year-old stabbed to death in a gang attack made a further arrest yesterday.

Paul Erhahon collapsed in the street as he and a 15-year-old friend staggered from the scene of the attack by youths in the foyer of a block of flats in Leytonstone, east London, on Friday.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said the latest arrest was of a 14-year-old youth. Officers are continuing to question two others - one 19 and the other 13 - who are being held at separate London police stations.

Paul and his friend, who had both been stabbed repeatedly, were found in Crownfield Road - just yards from Paul's home.

The younger boy died in hospital while his friend, who has not been named, is still in a critical condition.

The family of the murdered teenager have revealed that he had moved to a new school last year after being stabbed by bullies.

His maternal aunt, Jackie Mustapha, said Paul's parents had hoped the move would allow their son to make a fresh start.

She also revealed that Paul's mother, Ivy, was with her son as he lay dying.

Mrs Mustapha said: "His mum was there kissing him, cuddling him, trying to see if she could revive him.

"They are a very responsible, loving, close family and they love their kids to bits."

Paul attended Kingsford Community School - the same school as 15-year-old Adam Regis, the nephew of athlete John Regis, who was stabbed to death last month.

The headteacher of the school in Beckton, east London, said she was "absolutely flabbergasted" at the two deaths. Joan Deslandes said: "We train them in school in terms of awareness.

"But this is not happening around schools, it's happening in their communities. It's something communities have to give a response to."

She confirmed that Paul had joined the school around six months ago because his mother felt he could achieve good GCSE results in its "safe environment".

"He travelled a long distance to get to school but always got there on time and was never in trouble. He was a very polite boy," she said.

Detectives have said there were "no obvious links" with the stabbing of Adam or with the claims that Paul had been stabbed before.

Witnesses saw several youths fleeing the scene of the double knifing in Gean Court, Leytonstone, just before 8pm on Friday.

It is believed that up to 15 youths may have been involved, but police said they were keeping an open mind about possible links to gang crime. Residents said two groups of youths known as the "Thatched House" and "Cathall Boys" operated in the area but said there was no history of violence between the two.

Alan Gordon, vice-chairman of the Police Federation, said new laws to tackle gun and knife crime brought in after recent attacks would not work. He said some people had "scant regard" for human life which would not be combated by the Violent Crime Reduction Act, which came into force last week. The new laws make it an offence to get someone else to carry or hide guns and knives.


Fourteen year-old murder victim Paul Erhahon
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 10, 2007
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