A “devoted” dad was stabbed to death through the shattered window of his car as he tried to shield his brother, who was their intended target.
Gavin Garraway, from Brixton Hill, tried to turn his car in Clapham Park Road, just outside the Belle Vue pub in Clapham High Street, but smashed into a traffic light and was then attacked with a crutch and slain with a long knife.
Zion Chiata, 20, of Patmore Estate, Battersea, was convicted on Monday, 8 June, of killing Gavin following a retrial at the Old Bailey.
He had been found guilty of possession of an offensive weapon in October. Chiata had previously pleaded guilty to Mr Garraway’s manslaughter, but this plea was not accepted by the defence.
A second defendant, Tishaun Panton, of Cottage Grove, Clapham – 300 yards from the scene of the attack, was also convicted of Gavin’s manslaughter following the first trial. His sentencing had been postponed pending the outcome of Chiata’s retrial. Both men will now be sentenced together on a date to be confirmed.
Gavin, described as a “devoted” father who had no gang links, was pursued by Chiata and two others who had spotted him driving his VW Golf with his brother, a member of the 67 gang of drill artists.
During the chase, the Golf crashed into a traffic light outside the Belle Vue and came to a halt. It was then Chiata smashed the driver’s window and unsheathing a large knife tucked into his waistband, and lunged three times at Gavin through the open window.
At the same time Panton used the crutch he had with him and began to hit Gavin and his car.
During the attack, his brother tried his best to defend his brother with a crutch he too had been using.
After less than 10 seconds, the attackers ran off down Venn Street, past Clapham Picturehouse, leaving Mr Garraway bleeding from three stab wounds.
A police officer arrived on scene minutes after the attack where he, with the support of some off-duty nurses, tried to save Gavin – but his injuries were too severe and he was pronounced dead at 3.28pm.
Chiata was arrested at his home on 2 April 2019 on suspicion of murder, having been forensically linked to the crime scene, and for possession of a bladed article.
Panton was arrested at his home on 12 April 2019 on suspicion of murder after being identified through telephone evidence.
Detective Inspector Jamie Stevenson, who led the investigation said: “This appalling attack was caught on CCTV and shows the consequences of carrying a knife.
“I am pleased the jury discounted Chiata’s defence that he simply ‘lost control’ and convicted him of murder. I hope today’s outcome gives some form of closure to Gavin’s family who have not only had to suffer his loss due to the reckless behaviour of his killers; but have also had to endure the nightmare of two trials.
“I urge anyone planning on taking a knife onto the streets of London to look at this case as an example of the very real possible consequences of that decision.”
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