Victim Anthony Adekola: Image Met Police/PA
Three young men have been locked up for life over the “senseless” gang murder of a Marks and Spencer shop assistant.
Anthony Adekola, 22, nicknamed Lizzy, was stabbed to death as he walked home from work at the Colindale store on the evening of September 5 last year.
The killing was linked to a gang postcode feud in which the victim played no part, the Old Bailey heard.
Following a trial, Ta-jaun Subaran, 19, and two 17-year-olds, who cannot be identified, were found guilty of his murder.
On Friday, Subaran, of New Brent Street, Hendon, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 22 years and his co-defendants were detained for at least 18 years and 17 years and six months.
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.
Ta-Jaun Subaran (photo Met Police/PA)
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, Judge Simon Mayo QC said Mr Adekola’s life was “brutally cut short”.
He 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.
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.