December 5 2013 Latest news:
Monday, November 26, 2012
A man has been locked up for at least 30 years after shooting his friend dead by mistake as they tried to steal designer watches.
Daniel Tesfay, 27, aimed his gun at a man who was trying to sell him what he thought were genuine Rolex watches for £6,500.
But when Tesfay pulled the trigger, he killed his friend Jonathan Barnes, 20, the Old Bailey heard.
Tesfay, of no fixed abode, was found guilty of murder and having a firearm with intent to endanger life following a retrial and jailed for life.
The two men had gone to a house in Croydon in August last year.
After the deal was agreed, Mr Barnes grabbed the watches and shouted “Let’s do it”.
Prosecutor Roger Smart said Tesfay produced a semi-automatic pistol and threatened seller Jordaan Williams.
But Mr Williams grabbed Mr Barnes as the men tried to flee and Tesfay again threatened him with the gun.
Mr Smart said: “He pressed this against Jordaan Williams’s chest and said ‘Do you know who I am? I’m Murder Mike. I’ll blow your chest off, I’ll shoot you’.”
They took a phone off a friend of Mr Williams and tried to run.
Mr Smart added: “Jordaan Williams again grabbed hold of Jonathan Barnes and on this occasion Daniel Tesfay then shot at him, but missed and instead shot and killed his fellow robber.”
The watches were fakes and were worth little, added Mr Smart.
Rapper Tesfay, who calls himself Wolfie, denied having a gun or planning a robbery.
He claimed he and his friend were about to leave when a mysterious gunman came down the stairs and fired a shot.
Mr Barnes’s parents Douglas and Judith said in a statement about their son: “He took people on face value. It was partly this naivety which led to his death.”