‘I deserve to be punished’ says killer from Seven Kings

Clockwise: Asher Johnson, Courtney Mitchell, Jerome Green, Lewis Johnson and Reece Garwood

Clockwise: Asher Johnson, Courtney Mitchell, Jerome Green, Lewis Johnson and Reece Garwood - Credit: Archant

The murder of a 29-year-old stabbed to death on a petrol station forecourt in Ilford was described as “revenge attack” by a judge as he sentenced five men to a combined 93 years in prison.

Judge Richard Marks said the group’s defence of it being a drug deal gone wrong was a “cock and bull” story.

The Old Bailey heard on Friday that Thomas Cudjoe, of Richmond Road, Ilford, knew he could be in danger of a revenge attack if he was spotted in Ilford.

He had previously stood trial for shooting Reice Okosi in August 2010 in Dagenham, leaving him paralysed but was later acquitted.

Mr Cudjoe received 14 stab and slash wounds with one puncturing a lung and another an artery in his thigh in front of the Shell petrol garage in Ley Street on November 3 last year.

Reece Garwood, 21, Jerome Green, 23, Courtney Mitchell, 23 and Asher Johnson, 25 and his brother Lewis, 22 were all found guilty of murder on July 26.

Speaking at last week’s sentencing, Justice Marks said: “The explanation it was to do a drugs deal was a cock and bull story and it was a revenge attack as the prosecution said.

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“This was a sustained attack by you at night in a public place and a lot of people were in close proximity.”

Justice Marks gave the longest sentence to Green of Ashgrove Road, Seven Kings totalling 25 years.

Defending Green, Jerome Lynch said his client knew he “deserved to be punished” and he did not know how Mr Cudjoe’s family could ever forgive him.

Following the guilty verdict Mr Cudjoe’s mother said the “senseless nature” of her son’s murder would “always haunt the family.”

She added: “To try to describe the impact that my son’s brutal murder has had on me and my family is to attempt to do the impossible, to describe the indescribable.”

Garwood of Overton Drive, Chadwell Heath, was given 17 years and Mitchell, of Clandon Road, Seven Kings, was sentenced to 18 years.

Asher Johnson and his brother Lewis, both of Bellamy Close, Isle of Dogs, were each given 16.5 years.

They had all denied murder.