Three teenage gang members have been jailed for the murder of a North London Marks & Spencer shop assistant.
Anthony Adekola, 22, often known as Lizzy, was stabbed to death as he walked home from the Colindale outlet in Barnet on the evening of September 5, 2020.
Attackers wearing black balaclavas were on a “ride out” in two taxis – they jumped out of the vehicles and chased Mr Adekola down an alleyway, where he tripped over a bollard, allowing the teenagers to catch up to him.
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(Image: Metropolitan Police)
Mr Adekola was stabbed at least nine times in the head, neck, back and chest. By the time paramedics arrived, he had already died.
Jurors at the Old Baily were told Mr Adekola was killed because he was from another area, as part of a gang postcode feud in which he played no part.
Three teenagers have been jailed for Mr Adekola’s murder: Ta-Jaun Subaran and two 17-year-old boys who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Subaran was jailed for life and will serve a minimum sentence of 22 years, while his co-defendants have been sentenced to at least 18 years and 17 years and six months.
The judge branded the attack “as brutal and callous as it was random and pointless,” and commended the Adekola family for their ‘quiet dignity’ as they sat in court.
He said: “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.”
(Image: Metropolitan Police)
In a statement read out in court, Mr Adekola’s mother said: “The Anthony we knew was not involved in any trouble so why did trouble come for him?”
In his sentencing, Judge Mayo addressed the defendants directly.
He said: “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.
“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.”
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Police would come to find drill lyrics referring to “the 9” on a device after arresting one of the teenagers.
The lyrics read: “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.”
Bill Emlyn Jones, prosecuting, told the court “the 9” could refer to NW9, the postcode where Mr Adekola lived.
He added: “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.
“But equally you may feel able to accept that the lyrics are revealing of the writer’s true feelings, hostilities, ambitions, or achievements.”
Commenting on the lyrics he said: “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 described by the judge as “very fine man” in the prime of his life.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil John said: “This group drove to Colindale together to commit a senseless act of violence. Their actions ended the life of a young man, and devastated a family.
“In addition, they will now spend the best years of their lives behind bars.
“While there are no winners in this case, there is nothing but loss, I don’t doubt that the streets are safer now that these three have been jailed.
“Anthony was innocent. He was an unarmed, unsuspecting victim of a targeted horrific attack.
“The murderer’s intention to kill Anthony was clearly demonstrated by the frenzied nature of the injuries and the variety of weapons used in the attack.
“My thoughts today are with Anthony’s family, I hope that the knowledge that three killers have been removed from society will bring them a small measure of closure and comfort.”
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