LONDON, England – A gang of robbers has been sentenced after fatally stabbing a music manager, Emmanuel Odunlami, during his 32nd birthday celebration near St. Paul’s Cathedral in central London. The incident occurred on May 1, 2022, when the victim was attacked for a fake designer watch. Jordell Menzies, 27, was convicted of murder and robbery and received a life sentence with a minimum term of 31 years. Additionally, Louis Vandrose, 28, Quincy Ffrench, 28, and Kavindu Hettiarachchi, 31, were convicted of manslaughter and robbery, with Vandrose and Ffrench receiving 15-year prison sentences and Hettiarachchi receiving 13 years.
The court heard that Hettiarachchi, who worked as a security guard, had spotted Mr. Odunlami wearing a fake Patek Philippe Nautilus watch with diamond encrusting, which, if real, would be worth about £125,000. Hettiarachchi then tipped off his accomplices, resulting in the attack on Mr. Odunlami outside Haz restaurant. Menzies stabbed the victim before the robbers escaped in a Mercedes car with the fake watch.
Following the sentencing, Mr. Odunlami’s fiancé, Rajbir Kaur, expressed her grief, emphasizing the lack of remorse from the perpetrators and the vulnerability of the victim. She highlighted the traumatic impact on their two sons, emphasizing the void left by their father’s absence. Judge Patrick Field KC acknowledged Mr. Odunlami as a devoted father and stated that the grief experienced by his loved ones is profound and palpable.
In addition to the convictions for murder and robbery, a fifth man, Antonios Kfoury, 23, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and received an 18-month custodial sentence.
The case serves as a reminder of the devastating consequences of senseless acts of violence and the lasting impact on the victims’ loved ones. The sentencing reflects the gravity of the crimes committed and seeks to bring some semblance of justice to the family and friends of Emmanuel Odunlami.