Man found guilty of manslaughter after ‘senseless’ gang stabbing in north London

·2-min read
O’Neill Cameron was found guilty of manslaughter at the Old Bailey (Met Police )
O’Neill Cameron was found guilty of manslaughter at the Old Bailey (Met Police )

A 19-year-old man has been found guilty of manslaughter for the death of a 15-year-old teenager in north east London.

Romario Opia, 15, was fatally stabbed on January 25, 2021.

O’Neil Cameron was found guilty of manslaughter following a trial at the Old Bailey on June 8.

Romario died following an altercation between two rival gangs on Holland Walk, Islington.

Cameron, 19, of St John’s Way, Islington, had admitted stabbing Romario but pleaded not guilty, claiming he acted in self-defence.

A 17-year-old, who was also present the night Romario died, pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon.

Romario Opia, 15, was fatally stabbed on January 25, 2021 (Met Police)
Romario Opia, 15, was fatally stabbed on January 25, 2021 (Met Police)

Commenting on the case, Detective Sergeant Brian Jones said. “There are no winners in this case. It was not a sophisticated killing, it was senseless.

“Romario’s family are coping with unimaginable grief after the tragic loss of a loved one so early in life and I pay tribute to their bravery.”

The court heard Romario and Cameron had been part of a gang which formed in the Holloway area in 2020 before a dispute caused a split in the group.

On the afternoon of his death, Romario had been with two friends when they saw Cameron and two others.

Both groups were armed with “zombie” knives and proceeded to converge before Cameron struck Romario in the chest.

Romario soon died while others involved in the altercation fled the scene, discarding their knives as they ran.

Police identified the assailant after discovering a slider-style flip flop worn by Cameron during the incident in a washing machine at his home.

A large knife with his DNA was also found at the back of a cupboard during the same search.

Mr Jones added: “O’Neill Cameron’s family are struggling too, as they come to terms with the realisation that their loved one faces a prison sentence and a criminal record that will stay with him for the rest of his life.

“These are the consequences that young men, fueled by misguided ideas about loyalty and disrespect who arm themselves with knives that look like weapons in a movie, never stop to think about.

“A mindless but brutally violent encounter between feuding groups that lasts just seconds can have an impact that lasts a lifetime.

“Sadly, they are the same circumstances we have seen play out across London far too many times before which is why the Met continues to make tackling violent crime its top priority.

“We’re clamping down on known offenders, taking weapons off the street and focusing resources on hotspots of violence where they’re needed most. When the worst does happen and lives are taken through violence, we’re making use of every resource we have to identify those responsible and bring them to justice."

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