East Ham man jailed for killing cousin

A killer who stabbed his cousin for stealing his mobile phone was on licence at the time having been released from prison after serving half of a 30-month sentence for a string of burglaries.

Anthony Townsend, of Wellstead Road, East Ham, spent hours tracking down 33-year-old Winston Brown after dropping the handset in a taxi they were sharing.

He found the drug user at a crack den, where he grabbed a serrated kitchen knife and plunged it into his chest.

Townsend, 32, was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter after a trial at the Old Bailey.

Jailing him indefinitely with a minimum term of six years, Judge Peter Thornton QC told him he would not be released until the parole board decided he was no longer a danger to the public.

He said: “By your deliberate, calculated and swift act, you took the life of your cousin. This offence arose out of your selfish and self-centred concern for your telephone, which you seem to have placed above the rather more basic human need to preserve life.”

The attack took place at a house in Brunel Road, Walthamstow, just before 8am on April 1. Townsend, who has 47 previous convictions, previously served six years’ jail for stabbing a man through the cheek as he tried to steal a till from an east London shop in 1999, the court heard.