Three gang members who stabbed innocent Marks and Spencer shop assistant to death in random attack during postcode gang war ‘ride out’ are jailed for total of 57 years
- Three gang members who murdered M&S shop assistant are jailed for 57 years
- Anthony Adekola, 22, was knifed to death in Colindale in September last year
- He was stabbed at least nine times to his head, neck, back and chest
- Killing was ‘linked to gang postcode feud in which victim played no part’
- Ta-Jaun Subaran, 20, and two 17-year-old boys, were convicted of murder
Undated handout photo issued by Metropolitan Police of Ta-Jaun Subaran
Three gang members who ‘senselessly’ murdered an innocent Marks and Spencer shop assistant on a mini cab ‘ride out’ because he was from another area have today been jailed for a total of 57 years.
Anthony Adekola, 22, nicknamed Lizzy, was stabbed to death as he walked home from work at the Colindale store in north-west London on the evening of September 5 last year.
The attackers, wearing black facemasks and bandanas, leapt out of two taxis and chased after Mr Adekola. He tried to sprint away but tripped over a bollard, allowing his assailants to gain ground.
The M&S shop assistant was stabbed at least nine times to his head, neck, back and chest and was dead when paramedics arrived, the Old Bailey heard. Jurors were told that the killing was linked to a gang postcode feud in which the victim played no part.
Ta-Jaun Subaran, 20, and two 17-year-old boys, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were part of the gang of eight who knifed Mr Adekola to death.
Following a trial, Subaran and the two teenagers were found guilty of his murder. Judge Simon Mayo QC jailed Subaran for life with a minimum term of 22 years. His co-defendants have also been detained for at least 18 years and 17 years and six months.
The judge called the murder ‘as brutal and callous as it was random and pointless’. He earlier commended Mr Adekola’s family for ‘the quiet dignity’ they sat in court with during the course of the trial.
‘I recognise that listening to how Anthony had met his death must have been deeply upsetting and I imagine must have opened up those wounds,’ he said.
In a statement read to the court, the victim’s mother Foluke Adekola told how the ‘senseless’ killing over a ‘postcode that does not belong to anyone’ had broken her heart.
Anthony Adekola, 22, nicknamed Lizzy, was stabbed to death as he walked home from work at the Colindale store in north-west London on the evening of September 5 last year
The M&S shop assistant was stabbed at least nine times to his head, neck, back and chest and was dead when paramedics arrived, the Old Bailey heard
She highlighted the ‘utter futility’ of it, saying there was no place in society for such ‘cold blooded’ violence.
Her son was an ‘honest and hard working boy’ whose chance of becoming a man was taken away.
She added: ‘The Anthony we knew was not involved in any trouble so why did trouble come for him?’
Sentencing, the judge told the defendants: ‘On the evening of September 5 2020 you set out together with five others from the Hendon area of north London in two mini cabs.
‘Your purpose in setting out that evening was to carry out a murder that was as brutal and callous as it was random and pointless.’
The aim to ‘score a point against a rival gang’ was ‘perverse and abhorrent’, the judge said. When Mr Adekola came across the defendants armed with knives, he paused before running away.
Judge Mayo said: ‘You chased after him. That was an utterly cowardly act on your part. It is clear you caught up with Mr Adekola and attacked him with knives. In the course of that attack he was stabbed at least nine times – to his head, to his face, to his neck, his chest, his back, and his upper and lower limbs.’
The fatal stab wound to his neck severed the carotid artery and jugular vein. The attackers then returned to the waiting taxis and made off.
In a statement read to the court, the victim’s mother Foluke Adekola told how the ‘senseless’ killing over a ‘postcode that does not belong to anyone’ had broken her heart
Police later found drill lyrics on an electronic device seized after arresting one of the youths that referred to ‘the 9’, jurors heard.
Bill Emlyn Jones, prosecuting, said the 9 may refer to NW9, the postcode Mr Adekola lived in.
‘Such lyrics often contain bragging or boastful claims, which may or may not reflect what the person writing or delivering those lyrics has really done,’ he told the OId Bailey.
‘But equally you may feel able to accept that the lyrics are revealing of the writer’s true feelings, hostilities, ambitions, or achievements.
‘He had written: ‘I wanna go to the 9 and set it / Catch me an opp n f*cking kweff it / Dey took my bro so I’m garn get dem back’.
‘That lyric expresses the obvious sentiment that he wants to go to ‘the 9’, to catch a rival because they have done something to one of his own team and he wants revenge.
‘You can probably work out what ‘kweff’ means: to attack, assault or stab.’
Mr Adekola was found badly injured and bleeding by his brother and concerned friends who retraced his route.
Police arrived at 11.15pm and found him surrounded by people applying pressure to the neck wound.
Medics carried out emergency surgery at the scene but despite their efforts, he was pronounced dead at 11.45pm.
The judge said Mr Adekola was a ‘very fine man’ in the prime of his life and his untimely death had a profound impact on his family and friends.
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