Who is James Bascoe-Smith: Teenager dead for nearly an hour after stabbing beams in court as attackers convicted

A teenager who was stabbed and left for dead for nearly an hour beaming in court as his two attackers were convicted.

James Bascoe-Smith was 16 when the assault, which has left him using a wheelchair and struggling to communicate, took place last year.

Leon Rashid, 20, and Taiquane Lewis, 18, were convicted of the murder conspiracy.

Rashid was also found guilty of having an offensive weapon.

Stephanie Paez-Lopez, 20, was cleared of assisting an offender by assisting in the removal of a Range Rover used in the attack.

James was knocked off his bike, which he was test riding for his mother, and knifed by masked men in Brixton, south London, on 23 February 2021, jurors heard.

He video-called her from his mobile phone as he lay on the ground and he effectively died in the streets near his home before he was saved in the hospital.

 James Bascoe-Smith

James was at the Old Bailey with family members to witness the conviction of his assailants.

“James had no issues with anyone in the area; he is a happy boy, always smiling,” his mother, Lisa Bascoe-Smith, said.

“He is into music, DJ-ing, was studying music technology and has nothing to do with the gang lifestyle.

“When I look back to the day of the incident, I remember James was so eager to help me out and make sure the bike was working.

“He wanted to look out for me. He wanted to make sure it was safe and 100% rideable.

‘My phone rang and I saw James lying on the floor’

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“I remember standing on my doorstep waiting for him to come back. My phone rang and I saw James lying on the floor.

“I sunk when I saw him in a pool of blood. I keep asking myself, ‘How can it have happened in that space of a minute out of my eyesight?'”

“He has gone from a sporty, carefree, happy-go-lucky boy to someone who has been bedridden and is struggling to move or communicate,” Ms Bascoe-Smith said of James’ rehabilitation.

James’s aunt, Rachel Duncan, said: “We truly need to end this cycle of violence that can often become generational. We need to eradicate knife violence on our streets.”

Jurors were told James was hit by a stolen black Range Rover shortly after 6 p.m. on Henry Road.

Prosecutor Edward Brown KC said: “This was a brutal and terrible attack.

“In effect, James Bascoe-Smith had died at the scene and was only brought back to life by the immediate and significant efforts of the treating medical professionals.

“However, he had suffered a significant period during which there was a lack of blood/oxygen to the brain – possibly as much as 50 minutes.”

Even though there was no reason for the attack, Mr Brown described it as “very determined and concerted” and “very nearly succeeded” in killing the teenager.

A combat knife, a Rambo-style blade, and a Zombie-style machete were among the “terrifying” knives discarded by the fleeing attackers.

Rashid, from Thornton Heath, south London, and Lewis, of Kennington, south London, were remanded into custody to be sentenced at a later date.

Previously, a fourth defendant, Patrick Fox-Pinto, 18, from Bow, east London, was cleared of all charges after the prosecution offered no evidence.

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