Barking teen convicted of murder after chasing and stabbing man to death
- Credit: Archant
A teenager from Barking has been found guilty of murdering a man he chased and stabbed to death in broad daylight in Kent.
Nathan Kitenge, of King Edward’s Road, travelled to Gillingham by rail on the morning of Friday, December 20, 2019 and within an hour of arrival had left 35-year-old Tony Eastwood for dead following a brutal knife attack.
He was arrested while he was attempting to leave the country on a train bound for Paris in the early hours of Saturday, January 11, and later charged with murder.
Kitenge, 18, denied killing Mr Eastwood and claimed someone else had carried out the attack while dressed in his clothes, which he said had been stolen from him minutes beforehand.
However, the jury convicted him of murder today (Wednesday, July 8) following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court.
He will be sentenced at a later date.
Detective Chief Inspector Tristan Kluibenschadl of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “Kitenge’s excuse that somebody else stole his clothes before attacking Mr Eastwood was ludicrous and I was confident the jury would see through his lies.
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“However, it is thanks to the fantastic work of my officers who analysed hours of CCTV footage and telephone records that it could be proven beyond any reasonable doubt that Kitenge was the person responsible.”
The court heard Kitenge caught a taxi from his home then the DLR from King George V station around 10.55am on the day of the murder, arriving in Gillingham around 12.10pm.
CCTV cameras captured him walking through various parts of the town and also recorded him appearing to notice Mr Eastwood talking on his mobile phone in the High Street.
Kitenge was then seen to turn around and follow him to Fox Street, where words were briefly exchanged before Mr Eastwood attempted to run away.
However, Kitenge quickly caught up with him and stabbed him five times to the head and body.
Kent Police and South East Coast Ambulance Service attended but Mr Eastwood was declared dead at the scene.
Police believe the attack was due to a drug-related dispute and that Mr Eastwood was known to his attacker.
Kitenge was previously unknown to Kent Police detectives but they were able to identify him by the mobile phone number he used to book the taxi and tracking the journey of that handset from London to Gillingham.
Days before his trial was due to start, Kitenge claimed he had been robbed of his clothes and possessions during a 19-minute gap in the CCTV footage in which his whereabouts were unknown, and that the person responsible must also have killed Mr Eastwood.
However, the investigation team were able to prove that the man who arrived by train in Gillingham was the same person who carried out the attack, after demonstrating that he walked the same way and had the same habit of pulling the back of his top down.
His mobile phone was also in his possession before and after the incident.
Det Ch Insp Kluibenschadl said: “We cannot be sure of the reason why Nathan Kitenge targeted Tony Eastwood, but what is certain is that he murdered him in broad daylight with no thought for the effect it would have on Mr Eastwood’s family and friends, those who witnessed the stabbing and the wider community.”