Four men found guilty of killing 17-year-old Trust Gangata.
A group of four men have been convicted for killing 17-year-old Trust Gangata in a tragic case of mistaken identity.
At a house party in Leeds on 19 March 2023, Karl Belinga, 20, Karlson Ogie, 19, Paul Mbwasse, 19, and Brandon Takakunda Paradzai, 20, fatally stabbed Trust Gangata whilst seeking revenge for an earlier assault on Belinga which Trust was not involved in.
Using crucial communication data from each of the defendants which showed their intent to enact retribution, as well as GPS and CCTV footage, the prosecution – working with West Yorkshire Police – was able to reconstruct the timeline of events which sadly led to Trust’s death.
Belinga, reeling from the earlier assault, called Paradzai and met him and Ogie in Armley. They then drove to Huddersfield to pick up Mbwasse, before returning to the house party to carry out their assault.
Armed with large blades, the group barged into the house wearing face coverings and attacked Trust, fatally stabbing him 14 times.
At 02.48am, moments after the attack, a call was made to West Yorkshire Police and paramedics rushed to save Trust’s life. Despite their best efforts he could not be resuscitated and was pronounced dead at Leeds General Infirmary at 03.31am.
The pathologist reported that Trust had suffered multiple stab wounds to his body, the most significant were to his chest, critically injuring one of his lungs and aorta – the main artery which carries blood from the heart.
Today, at Leeds Crown Court, Karl Belinga, Karlson Ogie, and Paul Mbwasse have been found guilty by a jury of his murder. Brandon Takakunda Paradzai was convicted of manslaughter.
Senior Crown Prosecutor Ben Moore from CPS Yorkshire & Humberside said: “This was a tragic and senseless murder of a young man with a promising life ahead of him.
“Trust Gangata’s life was callously cut short by these defendants in a case of mistaken identity. Their attack was premediated – they returned to the address armed with knives intent on revenge for an incident their victim had nothing to do with.
“The Gangata family have conducted themselves with dignity throughout these proceedings and our thoughts and deepest condolences remain with them.
“Though nothing will ever make up for this devastating loss, we hope they find solace knowing those responsible for Trust’s death will face justice.”
Belinga, Paradzai and Ogie separately handed themselves into the police on the day of the attack, giving different accounts of what had happened, denying their level of involvement, and placing blame on one other.
Mbwasse was arrested by West Yorkshire Police on 20 March, and he answered no comment when interviewed.
He later changed his account after a Magistrates’ Court appearance, admitting to driving to the party armed with a knife, but denied his intention was to kill, instead he wanted to harm the perpetrator of the assault on Belinga, leaving him with scars as a reminder.
It was the prosecution’s case that all four men intended to kill or cause serious harm to the victim, and either carried out the attack or encouraged and assisted the others to do so.
The defendants will be sentenced on 18th December.
Notes to editors
- Ben Moore is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Yorkshire & Humberside Crown Court Unit
- Karl Belinga [DOB: 19.10.03] was convicted of 1 count of murder.
- Karlson Ogie [DOB: 24.03.04] was convicted of 1 count of murder.
- Paul Mbwasse [DOB: 16.08.04] was convicted of 1 count of murder
- Brandon Takakunda Paradzai [DOB: 13.06.03] was convicted of 1 count of manslaughter.