Four men have been jailed for a total of more than eighty years after a knife attack in Maidstone left a man dead and a woman with a serious injury.
Following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court, Kevin Roach (top left photograph) was jailed for 27 years, Julian Grant (top right photograph) for 20 years, Rodney Harris (lower left photograph) for 18 years, and Alfie Caparn (lower right photograph) was sentenced to 18 years.
At around 12.30am on 10 February 2019, 38-year-old Wesley Adyinka and a woman in her 30s were outside a block of flats in Knightrider Street when they were approached by Caparn, a person they had met previously, and Roach.
While the woman was talking on her mobile phone, Roach threatened Mr Adyinka who backed away but was held by Caparn before falling to the ground.
Roach then took a knife from his jacket pocket and stabbed Mr Adyinka in the chest and then attempted to stab his back. The woman tried to intervene but Caparn pulled her away and Roach turned around and stabbed her left thigh.
The two men ran to a BMW parked in Priory Road occupied by the driver, Rodney Harris, and Julian Grant. They drove from the area and emergency services were called. Mr Adyinka was later pronounced dead at the scene and the woman was taken to hospital.
Forty five minutes later the BMW was stopped by Kent Police armed units in Westmoreland Road, Bromley where Roach, Caparn, Grant and Harris were arrested.
An investigation was launched by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate and enquiries, including the examination of CCTV, identified that the four arrested men had visited the area searching for the victims an hour before the murder.
Failing to find them initially, investigators proved that Grant called the woman on the phone and spoke aggressively to her. She did not know who he was and it was during this conversation that Roach and Caparn approached the victims and the assaults took place.
At an identification procedure Roach was identified as the man who had stabbed the two victims. Roach, of Peace Close, South Norwood, London was charged on 11 February with murder and grievous bodily harm.
Harris, of Mann Close, Croydon, Surrey; Caparn of Drakeswood Road, Streatham, London and Grant of Tull Street, Mitcham, Surrey were later charged in connection with the incident
On 14 January 2020 after a nine-week trial at Maidstone Crown Court, 40-year-old Roach was convicted of murder, unlawful wounding and possession of a knife. Grant, 28 and Harris. 38, were both convicted of manslaughter and unlawful wounding. Caparn, 18, was convicted of manslaughter.
Senior Investigating Officer, DI Annie Clayton said: ‘This murder was fuelled by a dispute over the supply of drugs in Maidstone.
‘These four men had travelled to Kent seeking retribution, which resulted in the needless death of Mr Adyinka and the serious injury of a woman.
‘This has been a tragic incident and these men must now pay for their crimes with lengthy prison sentences.
‘Kent Police will continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to gang and drug-related crime and we will work closely with the Metropolitan Police and other neighbouring forces to target known offenders.’