A man has been convicted of murder after a fatal stabbing using a large hunting knife in a park in Brixton when a planned drug deal went wrong.
Levi Paschal, 34, of Clarence Avenue, Clapham, was found guilty of murdering 38-year-old Lee Casey following the conclusion of a trial at the Old Bailey yesterday.
The victim had intervened to protect his friend being attacked by Paschal but was fatally stabbed as a result.
Paschal was also convicted of the robbery and causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent to a 48-year-old male victim.
Paschal’s partner, Clementine Jones, 32, also of Clarence Avenue, was also found guilty of the robbery and causing GBH with intent. Both will be sentenced at the same court on Friday, 5 February.
The court heard how Paschal, a drug user, and Jones conspired to rob their intended victim after Jones had arranged to meet him at Rush Common, Brixton Hill, on August 29, 2019 – under the pretence of buying drugs.
Shortly before midday, the intended customer arrived at Rush Common and sat down on a bench with Mr Casey and another woman.
Paschal and Jones arrived and an argument erupted. It was then that Paschal, armed with a large hunting knife, attempted to attack his intended robbery victim – the man ran away but slipped and was grabbed by Paschal.
Seeing the events unfolding in front of him, Mr Casey attempted to intervene and was stabbed by Paschal.
Those present attempted to give him first aid until police and paramedics arrived, while Paschal and Jones fled the scene.
Mr Casey was taken to hospital but died that afternoon, just after 2pm.
Following his death, an investigation was immediately launched by homicide detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command.
This identified both Paschal and Jones near the murder scene before the attack, and also leaving together afterwards.
The court also heard how Jones and Paschal had attacked and robbed a 48-year-old man with a knife in his own home in March 2019.
Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin, who led the investigation, said: “The level of violence used by Levi Paschal was shocking and utterly unnecessary.
“Lee – on seeing his friend being attacked – bravely went to his aid and intervened. He paid for his actions with his life, but it is likely that he saved another man from dying.
“Lee was a brave man who did not deserve to die in such circumstances; and the other victim was at home when he was viciously attacked with a knife – a complete contrast to the cowardly and devious nature shown by Paschal and Jones.
“I am pleased both have been held to account before the courts for their actions.”
Jones was found not guilty of Lee’s murder. Paschal and Jones were also acquitted of one count of attempted robbery.
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