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23 March 2012, 16:03
Two men have today been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a man in Norwich.
22-year-old Spencer Yiadom from Saville Road in London pleaded guilty to the murder of 53-year-old Honorato Alberto Cristovao partway through his trial. He must serve a minimum of 24 years in prison.
22-year-old Anton St Paul from Keogh Road in London was yesterday, Thursday 22 March, convicted of murder by a jury at Norwich Crown Court. He must serve a minimum of 23 years in prison.
DCI Jes Fry from Norfolk Police was leading the investigation...
The death of Honorato, from Parmentergate Court in Norwich, was the result of a dispute between London drugs gangs, a number of members of which were targeted by Norfolk Constabulary and have subsequently been brought before the courts.
Honorato, also known as 'Alby', was seriously assaulted in an attack at the Rose Lane car park on 10 February 2011, but he sadly died of his head injuries a few days later on 14 February and a murder enquiry was launched.
The two London based drug groups 'JJ' and 'G Ben', were at the time travelling from London to deal drugs in Norwich.
The defendants were all members of the 'G Ben' group while Honorato's long term partner dealt drugs from her flat on behalf of the 'JJ' group.
The evening before Honorato was assaulted, two members of the 'G Ben' group were subject to a robbery in Norwich by people from the JJ group during which drugs, cash and phones were stolen.
Yiadom and St Paul consequently travelled from London to carry out a revenge attack.
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.
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 Alby's family in Portugal, as well as Alby's 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."
Pictured Anton St Paul, Spencer Yiadom, Honorato Christovao