BREAKING DEPTFORD DOVER KENT LONDON

Two men have been given life sentences for the murder of a well-known drill rapper who was stabbed to death in Deptford in December 2019

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Elijah Morgan, 20 of no fixed address and Jedaiah Param, 21 of Norwood High Street, West Norwood, were found guilty on Friday, 12 March following a trial at the Old Bailey.

They were both sentenced at the same court on Monday, 19 April to a minimum of 28 years in jail.

The court heard Morgan and Param were part of a gang of four young men armed with knives who chased and then fatally stabbed 20-year-old Crosslon Davis in an alleyway in Deptford.

Analysis of mobile phone records showed that Crosslon arrived at Deptford Creek with a friend in the early hours of 6 December 2019.

Cell site data of mobile phones belonging to Morgan and Param showed they had arrived in the same area slightly earlier.

The pair were identified by homicide detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command through CCTV from a minicab that was called to pick them up at the scene.

The violent attack started after Morgan and Param got into the minicab and Crosslon attacked Morgan with a mallet.

The minicab drove away from the scene a short distance before the driver was told to stop and Morgan and Param got out and started chasing Crosslon.

CCTV footage from Ha’penny Hatch showed that Crosslon was pursued by the pair, as well as two other unidentified males, who were all armed with knives or machetes.

All four of them stabbed Crosslon, who collapsed to the ground. Crosslon’s friend had tried to place himself between him and the attackers, but he was overpowered.

A number of local residents provided statements describing how they had seen the group running after Crosslon.

Police and paramedics were called to the scene. Despite their efforts, Crosslon died a short time later due to the loss of blood from at least nine stab wounds, including one that penetrated his lung and heart.

Crosslon’s friend called 999 and initially stayed with him until the emergency services arrived. However, he gave a false name to officers at the scene and declined to give a witness statement, or help with the police investigation in any way.

Morgan was identified after a police officer recognised him from the minicab CCTV footage. He was arrested at an address in Birmingham on 2 January.

Param, who was also identified via the minicab CCTV, was arrested at Dover Eastern Docks after he was found hiding underneath a coat in the back of a car as it went through passport control.

Both men declined to comment in police interviews and subsequently pleaded not guilty to murder.

Morgan’s defence during the trial was that he was wrongly identified.

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Vandenbergh, the lead investigator, said: “This was a savage and merciless attack. Crosslon was clearly running way from his attackers, who set upon him armed with large knives.

“The number of stab wounds sustained by Crosslon demonstrates the murderous intent of the four people who hunted him down.

“I think it is right that Elijah Morgan and Jedaiah Param have received lengthy jail sentences for their part in the attack. I am also pleased that we have some justice for Crosslon’s family, who have conducted themselves with the greatest of dignity throughout the court process

“We know there are still two other people who took part in this attack, who have not yet been identified, and we are still determined to find them. I urge anyone who knows where they are to contact police immediately.”

In her victim impact statement, Crosslon’s mother Vivienne said: “My life was all about Crosslon. He was reason for leaving my house, the reason I cook every day, he is the first thing on my mind when I wake and the last thing on my mind at night. We had lots of laughs through good and bad and he was also my friend.

“We still can’t believe this is happening. Crosslon’s life was tragically cut short, and I am still numb and paralysed, plagued by grief and pain. They have ripped out my heart. We are haunted by what happened to Cross.

“Crosslon was easy to love, so polite and always respectful. He was popular amongst his friends, fun compassionate and loyal. He will be greatly missed by them all as they also continue to grieve their loss.”