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Teenager convicted of killing Khaled Saleh, 17, in Paddington after local officer recognises him on CCTV

Victim: Khaled Saleh (Family Handout/Met)
Victim: Khaled Saleh (Family Handout/Met)

A teenager who stabbed to death a 17-year-old in a Paddington park has been found guilty thanks to a local officer who recognised the killer on CCTV footage.

Khaled Saleh was knifed in St Mary’s Churchyard with his attacker fleeing while passers by stopped and battled to save his life.

The attack, which happened in broad daylight on June 19, 2023, sparked a police manhunt which had a breakthrough when an officer from the area recognised the attacker from CCTV footage near the scene.

The teenager, who is now 17 but cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of manslaughter at the Old Bailey on Thursday.

He was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing at the same court on a date to be confirmed.

Detective Inspector Ollie Stride, who led the investigation, said: “The violence used in this attack left Khaled with little chance of survival.

“The defendant was in the park in possession of a knife when he was approached by a group including Khaled.

“He had many options but chose to attack Khaled, who was unarmed, stabbing him once and continuing to attack him after he had stumbled to the floor and could not defend himself.

“He then fled with his two associates leaving Khaled dying on the floor while shocked park-goers desperately tried to save his life.

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More London stories - click above

“This was a truly shocking scene and one which starkly outlines the devastating consequences of carrying a knife.”

CCTV collected from local cameras showed the suspect carrying out the attack and a local officer recognised the assailant, leading detectives to his door.

Detectives found that within an hour of the stabbing, the suspect had removed the SIM card from his mobile phone and wiped it in an attempt to evade detection.

A search of an address linked to the defendant also recovered a distinctive jacket he had been seen wearing in the CCTV of the killing.

While the weapon used to attack Khaled has not been recovered, following a search of a separate address used by the defendant a large knife was found.

The boy, who was 16 at the time of the attack, tried to claim he acted in self-defence but CCTV clearly showed that while Khaled had approached him, he had not been physically threatened before producing the knife and carrying out his deadly assault.

Khaled’s cousin Lena Wessan told The Standard after his death: “His mother is really devastated. Khaled was very caring.

“He would do absolutely anything for his family, to protect them, make them happy and be there for them. He was a family boy, he really valued them more than anything.

“He was such a happy, funny boy always making people laugh.

“I was in school when my sister called me to tell me [he had been killed].

“I was screaming and crying in disbelief, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t talk, my heart shattered. He was a role model in the family, everybody looked up to him.”