September 1 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Two carjackers have been found guilty of stabbing an Ilford businessman to death as he attempted to stop them stealing his Mercedes sportscar.
Rory Gordon, 23, and Jae’Don Fearon, 21, only stood to gain £500 for the carjacking on Stoneleigh Road, which saw Harjinder Singh Bhurji, 32, getting stabbed in the heart, the Old Bailey heard.
The pair drove off with his treasured Mercedes SLK coupe, leaving Mr Bhurji, of Highbury Gardens, Seven Kings, dying on the side of the road in the early hours of September 13, 2011.
Jurors found Gordon unanimously guilty of murder while Fearon was convicted of his manslaughter after being found not guilty of murder.
A third defendant, Andre Campbell, 23, was found guilty of a charge of handling stolen goods after exchanging the victim’s iPhone for £100.
Adjourning sentencing to May 27, Judge Michael Topolski told Gordon: “You have been convicted of a brutal murder of an innocent man.”
He said he would need to consider what minimum life sentence term to impose, adding: “That time in circumstances such as these is a very significant one indeed.”
A victim impact statement was read out to the court by prosecutor Sally O’Neill QC on behalf of the family, which described Mr Bhurji as a “humble and reserved character” who “enjoyed life and loved to travel”.
“Knife crime has got to stop,” the statement said. “No one should have to experience the pain of losing their loved one this way.
“Rory Gordon and Jae’Don Fearon have deprived Raj and his family of the rest of his life. At 32, a healthy, intelligent man was snatched from his future his hopes and dreams.”
The trial heard that Mr Bhurji was parked in Stoneleigh Road, Ilford, talking to a female friend when the carjackers suddenly struck, pulling the woman out of the vehicle and demanding the keys.
He was stabbed in the heart but was able to lean down to retrieve the keys and hand them over before he collapsed.
After being stabbed in the heard, Mr Bhurji handed over the keys before collapsing.
The Mercedes was then driven off “at speed” leaving Mr Bhurji dying by the road.
The vehicle was fitted with a tracking device and was found later parked neatly near Epping Forest.
A campaign for action over a problem roundabout in Redbridge has garnered new support.