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14 December 2016, 13:40
A man has been convicted of murdering an uncle as he attempted to protect his niece from unwanted advances in Basildon.
Daniel Mitchell-Monroe, 37, had stepped in when she was harassed by Joram Bakumanya in the Market Pavement area.
Mr Mitchell-Monroe and his niece had been out shopping on Tuesday, June 28 when he went to get his hair cut.
Seeing the girl alone, Bakumanya, of no fixed address, approached her and began speaking to her.
When she rejected his advances, he became aggressive and abusive, so much so that she feared for her safety and called her uncle.
Mr Mitchell -Monroe arrived and became involved in an altercation with Bakumanya, who then stabbed him three times with a large kitchen knife.
Bakumanya, 22, fled the scene and discarded the weapon, but was seen in Timberlog Lane by officers later that day and arrested.
He was charged with murder on June 29 and was convicted by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court today, December 14, following a trial that began on December 7.
Bakumanya is due to be sentenced in the week commencing January 30, 2017.
Speaking after the verdict was returned, Detective Inspector Al Pitcher, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "I welcome today’s verdict and my thoughts are very much with Daniel’s family, who have been left devastated by Bakumanya’s needless act of violence.”
The victim’s sister, Dionne Martin, said: "Daniel was my little brother, my best friend, and my child.
"He was an uncle, nephew, cousin, son, father, and a friend to many.
"This person who described my brother as a saint took his life and future so callously, and without thought left a family devastated: a loss so great, we have no idea how we will ever come to terms with Daniel not being here.
"Daniel always said he would give up his life for his family, and he did.
"He is our hero: I wish he wasn’t, I wish he was here.
"He was my everything. No amount of justice will ever give me comfort.
"All I have of my brother are the last couple of text messages he sent me.
"He always told my daughters and me how much he loved us.
"He was always cuddling and joking with us.
"As the elder sibling, I prepared Daniel to one day live without me. Never did I prepare myself to live without him.
"He truly was one in a million, a very special person who forever will be loved and missed.”