Two men who killed a defenceless man in a Greenwich street have been convicted at the Old Bailey of manslaughter.
On Thursday, 18 October, 21 year old Ibrahim James of Woolwich and 22 year old Andrew Adekoya, of Greenwich were found guilty of the manslaughter of Jozef Boci.
Three other men – Oluwatimilehin Oniyitan, 21 (10.03.97) of Eltham; Dominic Brown, 30 (07.07.88) of Woolwich; and Abaraye Campbell, 21 (20.11.96) of Woolwich – were all acquitted.
The court heard how 30-year-old Jozef was targeted by a group of men following an incident at the South Pole nightclub in Greenwich in the early hours of Saturday, 17 February.
Jozef was part of a group that had become involved in a minor dispute inside the nightclub at around 01:00hrs that morning with another group including James and Adekoya.
Security staff at the club intervened. Jozef’s group were allowed to remain in the club while the other group were ejected.
After remonstrating with security staff, the group got into two cars and drove away, returning to nearby Norman Road around five minutes later.
CCTV footage captured members of the group getting out of the cars. Adekoya had a metal object, perhaps a wrench, while James appeared to have a weapon concealed down his trouser leg.
The group approached the front of the club but were ushered away by door staff; however they continued to hang around in the vicinity of the club for the next hour or so, obviously waiting for someone to come out.
At around 02:10hrs, Jozef left the South Pole club and as soon as he stepped outside he was chased by the group, including James and Adekoya.
Jozef fled down Greenwich High Road but tripped over and was immediately set upon by his pursuers. Witnesses described how Jozef was attacked, including being struck with a baseball bat, as he lay prone and defenceless on the pavement.
Jozef was taken to hospital but never regained consciousness – he died six days after the attack on 23 February.
Detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command launched an investigation and quickly identified the suspects from CCTV and forensic analysis.
James was arrested on 23 February and following a search of his address, a baseball bat was found hidden in his garden. Although no forensic link could be made to the bat used in the attack on Jozef, it was similar to remnants found at the scene of the attack.
On 25 February, Adekoya was arrested. He admitted being at the scene and in possession of a wrench but claimed he was trying to calm the situation.
Five men were subsequently charged for their involvement in Jozef’s killing, two of whom were convicted as above.
Detective Chief Inspector John Massey of the Homicide and Major Crime Command led the investigation. He said: “What started as essentially a trivial incident ended in the murder of an innocent man.
“Jozef Boci was pursued and subjected to a brutal assault as he lay defenceless in a Greenwich street.
“The ferocity of the attack was shocking and left Jozef with no chance of survival.”
James and Adekoya will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on a date to be confirmed.