David Nyamupfukudza gets life sentence for murder of Sylvester Akapalara in Peckham

15:25 30 May 2012

David Nyamupfukudza who has been jailed for life for shooting aspiring athlete Sylvester Akapalara

David Nyamupfukudza who has been jailed for life for shooting aspiring athlete Sylvester Akapalara

A teenager has been sentenced to murdering an aspiring athlete in Peckham, south London.

David Nyamupfukudza, 19, was told he must serve at least 26 years in jail for the murder of Sylvester Akapalara in December 2010.

Mr Akapalara was a budding athlete who was living with a foster family in New Cross, south-east London.

The 17-year-old was shot dead on the Pelican Estate in Peckham.

His two friends were stabbed and the attackers also tried to shoot them but the gun jammed.

Passing sentence at the Old Bailey today, Judge Timothy Pontius said: “It matters very little for the purposes of sentencing why Sylvester Akapalara was shot dead at the end of 2010, but it seems likely that he was just one of many victims, mostly in their teens, who have been targeted over the last few years in acts of mindless and appalling violence simply because of their membership or assumed membership of an opposing gang.

“Young men and mere boys for whatever reason - either social deprivation, unemployment, simple boredom or arrogant adolescent bravado - seem to be attracted by the idea of being part of a group that does not recognise and still less observes accepted boundaries of decent human behaviour within the communities in which they live.

“Now yet another mother and also an adoptive family have been left desolate and distraught.”

He said Mr Akapalara, who was a member of Herne Hill Harriers athletics club, was a “promising young athlete of remarkable ability”.

The judge went on: “You were by the jury’s unanimous finding a willing participant in that act of cold-blooded murder.

“I’m able to accept that there was no specific targeting of Sylvester Akapalara as opposed to any other remember of a rival gang.

“Rather, he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time by the most tragic of circumstances.”

In mitigation, the court heard that Nyamupfukudza was not in possession of the gun until the group met at the estate.

He had also only just turned 18 at the time of the murder.

As he was taken down, Nyamupfukudza called out: “I just hope you know you’ve prosecuted and sentenced an innocent man. God will see me out of this.”

Nyamupfukudza was given a 22 year sentence to run concurrently for the attempted murder of Mr Akapalara’s friend.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crime news

Friday, February 27, 2015
CCTV footage shows when the driver loses control of the black Honda car in Hampton Road

This jaw-dropping footage shows the moment a speeding driver smashes his Honda into five parked cars in a quiet residential street before fleeing.

Friday, February 27, 2015
A teenager was stabbed near the Emirates minutes before Arsenal's Champions League game

Knife attack - just prior to Champions League game - fifth in borough this month

Friday, February 27, 2015
Anytime Fitness in Pentonville Road [Photo from Google Streetview]

The sick sex pest also used the James Bond-Style gadget to spy on women in the showers in a King’s Cross gym.

Friday, February 27, 2015
Murdered: James Hunter

Five teenage boys have been convicted over the killing of James Hunter, 18, who was stabbed to death as he tried to protect his friend from a revenge attack in Sydenham last year.

Friday, February 27, 2015
The quiet lane [Photograph by David Peat]

Emergency services have rushed to a street in Walthamstow after a man was stabbed this morning.

Friday, February 27, 2015
Gokhan Durmus was stabbed in the neck in Chatham Place in Hackney in Saturday, February 7 (Picture: Met Police)

Mathais Auguste, 21, has been charged with murder after 22-year-old Gokhan Durmus was fatally stabbed in the neck in Hackney.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Among the charitable causes the prince hopes to champion are wildlife conservation and justice for injured service personnel.

Read more

Although Farage may not have mentioned the fascist pre-conference entertainment, his speech showed he’s very aware of his party’s image.

Read more

Leonard Nimoy is currently dominating six of the top trend slots on Twitter. His fans, friends and co-stars should be proud.

Read more

Promoted content

A look at one of our previous Design Fairs

Chelsea Old Town Hall will be the venue for the renowned Desire Fair from 6-8 March 2015. This stunning mixed media jewellery and silversmithing event where visitors can purchase direct from contemporary designer makers selected from the best in the UK is an event not to be missed.

Take our quiz and find out!

A survey conducted last year revealed that Britain is the fourth sexiest country in the world, with the UK sex toy industry worth an estimated £250 million a year.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Among the charitable causes the prince hopes to champion are wildlife conservation and justice for injured service personnel.

Although Farage may not have mentioned the fascist pre-conference entertainment, his speech showed he’s very aware of his party’s image.

Leonard Nimoy is currently dominating six of the top trend slots on Twitter. His fans, friends and co-stars should be proud.

Quirky London