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23 March 2012, 04:59
Two men will be sentenced today for their part in the murder of a man in a Norwich car park.
A 22-year-old man,Anton St Paul of Keogh Road in London, was found guilty of the murder which detectives have described as one of the "most difficult and challenging enquiries" they have encountered.
He was convicted at Norwich Crown Court yesterday of the death of 53-year-old Honorato Alberto Cristovao who was from Parmentagate Court in Norwich.
Spencer Yiadom, aged 22 years old and of Saville Road, London, previously pleaded guilty to murder earlier in the trial.
The death was the result of a dispute between London drugs gangs, a number of members of which were targeted by Norfolk Constabulary and have since been brought before the courts.
Honorato was seriously assaulted in an attack at the Rose Lane car park on 10 February 2011, but he died of his head injuries a few days later on 14 February and a murder enquiry was launched.
The two London based drug groups were at the time travelling from London to deal drugs in Norwich.
Yiadom and St Paul travelled from London to carry out a revenge attack after part of an argument between two gangs.
During the trial, the court heard how Honorato and his partner went to Rose Lane car park where they were confronted and he was beaten and subsequently died.
A third man, Antony Obariase, aged 28, of Norwich Road, London, was found not guilty of murder by the jury at Norwich Crown Court.
Detective Chief Inspector Jes Fry from the Major Investigation Team said: "This murder enquiry was one of the most difficult and challenging we have encountered. It's only been through the diligence and professionalism of the officers working on the investigation that the case came to court. Much of our investigation focused on analysing mobile phones that were used by the perpetrators as well as studying CCTV footage.
"We have remained in touch with his family in Portugal, as well as his partner, to keep them up to date with the case. We hope that this result goes some way to alleviating some of their pain and anguish they have experienced over the past year."
"I understand members of the public will be concerned to learn that this death related to a dispute between two London drug dealing groups. But it's also important to point out that members of both groups were subject to a policing operation targeting their drug supply and members of both groups have been convicted for drug offences."
Superintendent Paul Sanford who is responsible for policing in Norwich said: "This was an isolated and extremely rare incident in terms of our on-going work to tackle drug dealing taking in Norwich and across the county. It remains a priority for the force and we regularly carry out many successful operations. Officers constantly analyse local intelligence to identify and target offenders and disrupt drug activity.
"However, enforcement alone is not enough. As a Force we are working with our partner agencies to reduce the circulation and use of drugs. Such agencies include the council and Drug and Alcohol Action Teams. Information and intelligence from the public is also very valuable and we'd urge anyone with information in relating to drug dealing to get in touch with us."