Man who went on the run jailed for 2005 Gants Hill murder of Robert Darby

A millionaire playboy with links to one of Britain’s biggest ever drug barons has been jailed for at least 18 years today for murdering a love rival.

Professional gambler Jason Moore, 43, fled the country for the Costa Del Sol after stabbing 42 year-old Robert Darby to death outside The Valentines pub, Perth Road, in 2005.

His feud with Mr Darby began after he started dating Mr Darby’s ex-girlfriend Adele Raynor.

Moore described Mr Darby as cocaine-addicted “telephone terrorist” and a Jekyll and Hyde character who threatened to kill him and chop off his toes.

The pair eventually agreed to meet outside The Valentine pub at noon on August 24, 2005, to settle a debt Mr Darby believed he was owed.

During the confrontation Mr Darby, of Byng Street, Poplar, was stabbed in the heart with such force that the knifed passed straight through a rib and into his heart.

He collapsed within a few minutes and died in hospital the following day.

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Hours later Moore fled for Spain and remained on the run for the next seven years, using a false passport to fly between Dubai and London without being caught.

He handed himself into police last year in a final “gamble” he could blame his friend Martin Power, 47, for the killing and clear his name.

But an Old Bailey jury rejected his claims and convicted him of murder and acquitted Power.

Judge Nicholas Hilliard told Moore: “By August 2005 [Robert Darby] was preoccupied with whether there was anything going on between him and Adele Raynor. There must have been some other dispute between you and Robert Darby which you have not told us about.”

The judge said the 25-year starting point for knife killings did not apply because the murder took place before the law change.