A man has been convicted of murder for the killing of 32-year-old Emmanuel Odunlami in the City of London which occurred in May 2022.
Jordell Menzies, aged 27, (9/9/1996) of Tennyson Road, Brent, was found guilty of murder and robbery at the Old Bailey today.
Detective Chief Inspector Edelle Michaels from the City of London Police Major Crime Team said:
“This was a callous and co-ordinated murder of a young man, that has left his children without a father and devastated his family and friends. Emmanuel should have been able to celebrate his birthday without fear of being attacked because of the watch he wore on his wrist.
If you carry a knife and murder a man who was running away, it is not a mugging ‘gone wrong’, it is murder and we will do our utmost to bring you to justice. What makes this crime even more startling, is that a man employed to protect people on a night out as a security guard, was looking for victims for his accomplices to attack and rob.
"Emmanuel’s family have now seen all the men responsible for his death brought to justice, but I know their loss will be with them forever and our thoughts remain with them.
"Crimes such as these are rare in the City, but should they occur we will use our powers and the professionalism of our officers to pursue those responsible and remove them from our streets.”
Three other associates were previously convicted of manslaughter and robbery on 18th April 2023.
Quincy Ffrench, aged 27, (13/12/1995) of Foyle Road, Tottenham.
Louis Vandrose, aged 27, (23/10/1995) of Beulah Road, Thornton Heath.
Kavindu HETTIARACHCHI (aka KBrown Lankan), 30, (18/08/1992) of St. Ann’s Road, Harrow.
On Sunday, 1 May 2022, Emmanuel Odunlami attended an event at Haz Restaurant on Foster Lane. Emmanuel of Bridgewater Road, Romford, was a self-employed business owner, who had a fiancé and two young children.
He was attending the private members’ event, along with some friends, to celebrate his birthday.
Unbeknownst to Emmanuel, Hettiarachchi, a security guard for the event, was recording him on his mobile phone. The images were subsequently sent to Vandrose, highlighting Emmanuel as a target because of his expensive watch.
After the event had finished, at around 23.20 hours, Emmanuel and a friend left the venue and were standing on Foster Lane outside Goldsmith’s Hall. Emmanuel’s vehicle was parked in Gresham Street, just west of the junction with Noble Street.
The suspect vehicle, a three door white Mercedes was registered to Ffrench’s mother. The registration had been doctored to display HA18 POH instead of HF19 FOH. The car drove past Emmanuel in Foster Lane and parked up in Noble Street.
Ffrench drove the car while Menzies and Vandrose were in the front and rear passenger seats. As Emmanuel appeared to approach his vehicle, all three men got out of the car and ran towards him with Menzies at the front. He had a knife in his hand and was followed by Vandrose and Ffrench. Emmanuel ran into the middle of Gresham Street and was chased by Menzies, who twice tried to trip him before striking Emmanuel and stabbing him in the heart with a lock knife. The stabbing caused Emmanuel to fall backwards against a parked car.
Vandrose bundled Emmanuel to the floor whilst Menzies continued to kick him. Ffrench ran towards them, bent over Emmanuel and removed the watch from his wrist. Words to the effect of “GOT IT, GOT IT, YEAH” can be heard on CCTV footage covering the attack which also had audio and sound. The three men then ran back to their vehicle and left the scene.
Emmanuel was seen to get up and walk back towards his vehicle where he collapsed on the bonnet before falling to the ground. His friends ran to try and help him.
Officers arrived on scene shortly after to find Emmanuel had sustained a stab wound. They immediately provided first aid before the London Ambulance Service arrived. Emmanuel was transported to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel where he was sadly pronounced dead at 00.08 hours on Monday, 2 May, 2022.
External CCTV showed Hettiarachchi observing the attack before walking over to where Emmanuel was lying on the floor. He then simply turned around and walked away. His colleague, Antonios Kfoury, did the same. Instead of trying to help Emmanuel both men returned to their vehicle before the arrival of Police.
The watch that was stolen had the appearance of a Patek Philippe Nautilus watch with diamond encrusting, which if genuine, would be valued in the region of £125,000.00. It is now known that the watch was in fact a fake, but has never been recovered.
The lock knife used to kill Emmanuel was found the following morning in London Wall by a member of the public. The knife had been thrown out of the suspects’ car window. Traces of blood and fatty tissue belonging to Emmanuel were found on it together with Menzies’ DNA on the handle.
Having identified the true registration of Ffrench’s vehicle, Police arrested Ffrench the following day. Menzies was arrested on the 16 May 2022 and Vandrose was arrested at Lisbon airport on 10th July 2022.
Antonios Kfoury, aged 22, (22/08/2001) of Brentmead Gardens, West Twyford, was found guilty on 18 April 2023 of perverting the course of justice and subsequently received an 18 month custodial sentence.
Kfoury had provided a false statement to the Police, deliberately omitting Hettiarachchi by advising that there were only four members of security on duty on the night when in fact there were five; the fifth member being Hettiarachchi. Mr. Kfoury also attempted to influence the evidence provided by another member of the security team.
A hearing will take place on Thursday, 21st December, 2023, to confirm a date for sentencing in the New Year.