Two drug dealers have been jailed for life after they murdered a 17-year-old boy in an ambush stabbing.

Ezra Abeka-Soares and Morgan Mockford, both 18, were handed life sentences at the Old Bailey today (Monday, December 4) for killing Elijah Dornelly in Walthamstow High Street on May 7.

The court heard how the pair had ventured “way off patch” to sell drugs on the day of the murder.

Armed with knives, they waited behind a phone box before pouncing on keen footballer Elijah that evening.

The teenager was able to dodge the first blow from Abeka-Soares but was then stabbed in the stomach by Mockford.

The seriously injured victim, of Higham Hill, managed to run into the nearby Arabian Nights cafe, but suffered massive blood loss and was pronounced dead in hospital two hours later.

Police traced the killers’ movements to a nearby fast food restaurant and they were identified by local officers before being arrested at their homes on May 15.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Elijah Dornelly was stabbed to death in Walthamstow on May 7 this year

Mockford, of Randolf Road, Walthamstow, and Abeka-Soares, of Caxton Road, Southall, were found guilty of murder last month by a majority of 10 to two after a three-week trial.

Following the verdicts, Elijah's mother, Edith Acayo-Ogol, described him a "good" and "helpful" boy who loved playing football.

The single mother-of-four said he got good results in his exams and was hoping for a career as a PE teacher.

She said: "My daughters are both very shocked and have been left without a brother."

The defendants, who both had previous convictions for carrying knives, were handed life sentences by Judge Andrew Lees QC.

Mockford, who was 17 at the time, will spend at least 17 years behind bars for the killing, with a 30-month sentence for carrying a blade to run concurrently.

Abeka-Soares was jailed for life with a minimum term of 19 years, with four years concurrent for possessing a knife.

Detective Inspector Ian Lott, of Scotland Yard, said: "The death of Elijah Dornelly was an absolute tragedy and the sentences will not bring him back for his mother."