Two men, one of whom is from Romford, have been found guilty of murder after a botched raid on a cannabis factory.

Renato Geci was stabbed to death in Granville Avenue, Hounslow, on March 22 last year.

A jury at the Old Bailey has today (September 28) ruled Shaddai Smith, 32, of Firwood Lane in Romford, and Jason Sebran, 38, of Freemans Court in Stanford-Le-Hope, are guilty of murdering 21-year-old Renato.

They were both also found guilty of burglary and wounding with intent.

Smith and Sebran were remanded in custody to be sentenced at the same court at a later date.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett KC had told the court the men were part of a group of seven in three cars and a van who turned up to a property Granville Avenue in the early hours of March 22.

The address was being used as a marijuana farm to grow more than 200 plants worth up to £95,000.

The court heard Smith and Sebran planned to break in and steal the cannabis, entering through a bathroom window on the upstairs floor using a ladder.

However, their plan was scuppered when they found Renato and his brother Vilson Geci inside the property.

The Geci brothers had been asleep, but went to investigate when they heard noises.

A violent struggle ensued, in which Renato was stabbed with a screwdriver and a knife and 29-year-old Vilson was sprayed with a liquid he believed to be acid and stabbed in the thigh.

Both Smith and Sebran fled the house via a front window and made off in the waiting cars.

However, a neighbour had heard the commotion, witnessed cars leaving the scene and called the police.

Officers found Renato unconscious in the kitchen. They performed CPR until paramedics arrived but despite their efforts, Renato died.

An investigation traced the vehicles to Sebran and a rendezvous point in Redbridge where a vehicle belonging to Smith was located.

The court heard mobile phones - which were stopped being used almost immediately after the murder - showed Smith and Sebran moved together from Redbridge to Hounslow on the night Renato was killed.

Forensics also found a DNA match for Smith inside the property, and Vilson described Sebran's arm tattoos celebrating the names and birthdays of his children.

After being arrested, both Smith and Sebran told Met Police officers they did not intend to harm anyone and had attempted to flee.

Sebran claimed someone else had gone into the house while he waited outside in the car.

However, Sebran said: “It’s not like I’m coming into someone’s house and nicking your TV and your video – it’s cannabis.

"They shouldn’t be doing it in the first place so I ain’t got no morals about taking it.”

But Mr Aylett told jurors: “All the same, those men were not acting in the public interest. Instead they were in it for money."

The jury deliberated for nearly 25 hours to find Smith and Sebran guilty by a majority of 11 to one.

Det Insp Garth Hall, from the specialist crime south team, said: “Smith and Sebran’s claims that they believed the house they were entering was empty and that their intention was only to steal cannabis plants have been disproved by the jury.

“Both men had ample opportunity to leave the property when they found Renato and another man inside; however – they were driven by greed and the profit they saw they could make from stealing the cannabis plants.

“They decided to attack Renato, using lethal force as they overpowered him, and causing multiple injuries to their second victim before fleeing empty handed."