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London teen cleared of killing Fiji boy

 

Sep 11, 2009 12:00:00 AM

An 18-year-old teenager who admitted knifing a 27-year-old Fiji born has been cleared of murder in London, according to media reports.

Jahangir Hussain, 18, admitted knifing Robert Venenavuci in the stomach and heart at his sister's flat in Wood Lane, Isleworth, reports hounslowchronicle online.

But he told the Old Bailey he reacted during a heated row, fearing Venenavuci would attack his sister, Halima Khatun.

Hussain, of College Road, was cleared of murder and manslaughter by a jury on Wednesday, after almost six hours of deliberations at the end of the two-week trial.

The verdicts were met with gasps from the public gallery.

Hussain, who had been on bail during the case, showed little emotion.

The court heard how Venenavuci had moved into Miss Khatun's flat a few weeks before his death on October 4 last year.

Within a few days, Miss Khatun - who also lived in the two-bedroom apartment - complained about the way the flat was being cared for.

On the night of his death, Venenavuci drank almost half-a-bottle of vodka in his bedroom before entering the lounge at about 10pm.

Hussain and Miss Khatun were in the lounge eating a meal with their young niece when an argument broke out.

Hussain told the court that Venenavuci was drunk and was speaking so close to Miss Khatun's face that he was spitting on her.

Venenavuci then followed the brother and sister into the kitchen. Hussain claimed the victim punched him and made a grab for a knife but he got to the blade first.

"I tried to punch him but it was the knife that hit him on the face," said Hussain.

The court was told that Venenavuci suffered two stab wounds during the clash, one to his stomach and one to the chest.

Miss Khatun called 999 and police arrived to find Venenavuci lying spread-eagled on the floor of the flat.

He was taken to St Mary's Hospital at Paddington and underwent emergency surgery, but died at 2am the following day.

Hussain admitted causing the injuries but claimed he was acting in self-defence.

He was cleared of murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter.

Hussain released a statement to the press saying how 'traumatising' the case was for him and how it has had a huge impact on his education and life.

He said he has also enrolled in college and plans to go to university as well as hoping to do some charity work in Ethiopia.

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