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
2 3 4 5 6

Latest Crime news

Friday, November 27, 2015
The youth attacked the women in Parliament Hill

A 16-year-old who bit a woman’s groin on Hampstead Heath, hit a man with a claw hammer and carried out violent and sexual assaults will serve just one year in jail.

Thursday, November 26, 2015
Do you recognise this man? (Picture: British Transport Police)

A large gang of young men surrounded a 17-year-old girl in West Ham Tube station and threw her to the floor in a frightening incident, British Transport Police (BTP) said today.

Thursday, November 26, 2015
Police cordoned off the pavement outside the Vodafone store in Finchley Road

The pavement outside a parade of shops on Finchley Road has been cordoned off after knife raiders threatened staff at a branch of Vodafone and made off with thousands of pounds worth of mobile phones.

Thursday, November 26, 2015
Police have released images of two men they would like to speak to after a woman was raped in Brixton last year (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

A young woman said she was raped after accepting a lift on leaving a Brixton club last year and today police have released images of men they would like to speak to about the attack.

Thursday, November 26, 2015
A child can be seen being manhandled by a person who appears to be a Subway worker in the video posted online (Picture: YouTube/Kyss McQueen)

Alarming footage of boys trying to smash their way into a north London Subway branch to release their friend - who appears to be locked inside and forcibly held by a Subway worker - has gone viral on social media.

Thursday, November 26, 2015
Vasilaki Kakko, a teenage boy who was stabbed to death in Holloway

A boy stabbed near Caledonian Road Tube station in Holloway, north London, has been named by police as Vasilaki Kakko.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Read more

You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Read more

Latest Tech News