|Three men responsible for a violent, pre-planned attack in which a teenager was beaten and stabbed to death have been jailed.
Rodney Mukasa, 20, (20.09.96) of Green View Avenue, Croydon, was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a recommendation to serve a minimum of 22 years, at the Old Bailey, today Thursday 4 May.
Ali Zahawy, 19, (05.09.97) of Bramble Close, Croydon, was sentenced in his absence to life imprisonment, with a recommendation to serve a minimum of 22 years.
Fabio Cela, 19 (14.05.97) of Fryston Avenue, Croydon, was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment, with an extended licence period of four years.
Mukasa and Zahawy were found guilty of the murder of 19-year-old Andre Aderemi at the same court on Wednesday 3 May.
Cela was found not guilty of murder but convicted of manslaughter.
Police were called to the Monks Hill Estate in Heather Way, Croydon, at around 19.40hrs on 16 August 2016 to reports of a stabbing.
On arrival, officers found the victim – later identified as Andre – with multiple stab wounds and other injuries.
The London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance also attended. Andre, who was living in Chatham, Kent after moving from south London, was taken to a south London Hospital but died later that evening from his injuries.
A post-mortem examination carried out on 17 August gave cause of death as a stab wound to the chest.
An investigation was launched by the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command.
Witnesses saw Andre being chased by a group of males carrying knives and other weapons, with a white vehicle also in pursuit. The gang caught up with Andre after a short chase, and Andre fell to the ground where he was stabbed and kicked until he was unconscious.
The suspects then got into the vehicle and drove off.
That evening, Cela attended Croydon University Hospital with knife wounds to his head. When asked by police how he had sustained the injuries, Cela was uncooperative. He was subsequently arrested.
As part of their enquiries, officers recovered a bag containing bloodstained clothing found to belong to Rodney Mukasa.
A metal pole was found at the scene by officers. It had Andre’s blood on one end and Cela’s DNA on the other.
Three knives were located in Spout Hill shortly after the murder after being thrown from a car. One of the knives had Andre’s blood on it.
CCTV and clothing comparisons also placed the suspects at the scene.
The court heard that Andre and Cela were known to one another. The pair had fallen out and there were several violent confrontations between them in the months leading up to the murder.
Andre’s family were forced to move out of London over fears for their safety, several weeks before the murder.
Upon learning that Andre would be visiting south London, Cela, Mukasa and Zahawy planned to attack him and armed themselves.
Cela and Mukasa were arrested the day after the incident and subsequently charged with murder. Zahawy was arrested on Sunday, 21 August 2016.
Detective Chief Inspector Sam Price, the senior investigating officer from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “This is a good result and I am pleased that these three dangerous offenders will now serve substantial sentences.
“I would like to commend Andre’s family for the way they have endured the trial, and been totally engaged with the police investigation throughout.
“I would also like to thank the community on the Monks Hill Estate, especially the young witnesses, who made statements and testified. Without their support and trust in police we may not have achieved this positive outcome for Andre.”
+ The media are reminded that there are reporting restictions in place protecting the identity of a young key witness