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South Norwood rapper's killers given 47 years behind bars

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TWO teenagers have been sentenced to a minimum of 47 years in prison after being found guilty of murdering an aspiring rapper in a drive-by shooting in South Norwood. Umar Tufail, 25, was shot in the head as he sat in a car outside his home in Wharncliffe Road, South Norwood, on July 15 last year. Sanchez Thomas and Kyrone Daley, 19, were both accused of carrying out the "deliberate execution" but gave conflicting accounts of the killing. Both were convicted of murder following a month-long trial at the Old Bailey yesterday and were sentenced this morning (Wednesday). Judge Stephen Kramer said the killing was a product of the "gang culture of London where guns are all too readily available". He said: "There may not have been a predetermined plan to shoot and kill someone from the outset but whether or not there was, it was a deliberate shot you fired at almost point-blank range into the side of Umar Tufail's head. There must have been an intent to kill. "I am satisfied on the evidence that you Sanchez Thomas were the gunman and you Kyrone Thomas were the willing accomplice, voluntarily present, knowing what was going to happen, assisting and encouraging, and knowing the gun was in the car. Addressing Thomas he added: "I am satisfied your motive was revenge. Both brothers looked similar but, whether by accident or design, you took revenge on the brother who had not stabbed you. Judge Kramer did not read out the impact statement written by Umar's father Sajid but said it was clear his death had had an "Indescribable effect on his family". Thomas was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years. Daly was also given a life term and will serve a minimum of 22 years. Judge Kramer praised the police's detailed investigation. Daley had maintained throughout the trial that Thomas, his life-long friend, shot Umar in revenge for being stabbed by the aspiring rapper's younger brother Amir. Thomas had claimed a third person in the car – a member of Croydon's Don't Say Nothing (DSN) gang known as Pauser – was the shooter. The court had been told that Thomas, known as Limitz, had "history" with Amir Tufail, 18, who went by the street name Renz and was a member of Croydon gang Block Cartel. Their feud began when Amir allegedly threatened Thomas, a member of rival gang Squeeze Section, with a knife in Regina Road, South Norwood, in October 2011 and then stabbed him in the arm in Tooting Bec in March 2012. The court heard how Thomas pulled alongside Umar, who was sitting in a car outside his home, at around 4.30pm. According to Daley, he repeatedly accused Umar of being 'Renz' and, even after realising he was wrong, pulled out a handgun and shot him in the head. He rejected Thomas' claim that there was anyone else in the car. "There was only two people in that car at that time," he told the Old Bailey. "I didn't have anything to do with it. I didn't even know there was a gun." Extensive CCTV footage shows the grey Vauxhall Corsa travelling to the scene of the shooting and then back to Unity Close, West Norwood, where Daley and Thomas both live. Thomas claimed he picked up a third person – Pauser – on the way to Wharncliffe Road and that he stopped the car to talk through his differences with Amir. "Pauser shot him," he had insisted. "It was a terrible incident. I was incredibly shocked. I was just trying to make peace." He added: "Someone else killed him and I got the blame." Asked why Daley would implicate him for something he had not done, Thomas said: "I don't know. He was my friend. We saw each other every day." At no point during the CCTV footage is a third person seen in the car. Police tracked down Pauser but found from his phone records that he was in Maidstone, Kent, at the time. After Thomas was presented with this "cast iron" alibi, he claimed to have been talking about a different member of DSN, also called Pauser. The court had heard that Amir immediately believed he was the gunman's intended target. Minutes after the shooting, the 18-year-old told a police officer the bullet had been meant for him, adding: "I have a lot of enemies." On the afternoon of the killing, Amir and his friend Stephen Crawford, 18, were playing computer games in an upstairs bedroom when they heard a gunshot. Crawford went to the window and drew the curtain in time to see a grey car drive away. As they ran downstairs, Amir picked up, and then dropped, a knife before shouting: "Umar has been shot". They rushed outside and found Umar slumped over the wheel of his family's red Vauxhall Corsa with a gunshot wound to the side of the head. Umar, who worked at Croydon Tesco Dotcom and performed music under the name Humuh, was taken to King's College Hospital but died the following day. After returning to Unity Close, Daley and Thomas took a minicab to a friend's house in Fulham. The car was seized the following day and gunshot residue was later found on Thomas' top.

South Norwood rapper's killers given 47 years behind bars


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