Boy jailed for murder in Britain after Facebook row

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A British judge jailed a 16-year-old boy for at least 14 years Tuesday for stabbing to death a former friend after they traded insults on Facebook.

The killer, who was 15 at the time and so cannot be named, knifed Salum Kombo, 18, in the chest last December in east London over a petty dispute in which the victim called him a "pussy", the trial heard.

"In the days leading up to December 20 there had been a trade of insults and threats between these two boys, both directly and on Facebook," said prosecution lawyer David Jeremy.

"At one stage the boy who died called (the defendant) a pussy. That insult appears to have particularly incensed him.

"It was the combination of a silly argument, (the defendant's) over-sensitivity about his own dignity and status, and his own willingness to carry a knife that led to the events of December 20."

The killer had been outside a fish bar with friends on the night of the murder and when Kombo turned up, they walked off, apparently to settle their differences. Instead, the younger boy pulled out a knife.

A jury rejected his claim of self-defence and convicted him of murder.

Sentencing the killer at Southwark Crown Court in London Tuesday, Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said: "This was quite simply an act of cowardice."

© 2010 AFP

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