Matalan murder: Jail sentences increased

TWO Newham men jailed over their parts in the killing of a store manager during a botched robbery have had their “unduly lenient” prison terms increased.

Manager, Jamie Simpson, died after he was stabbed in the neck and back at his Matalan store in Dalston in March 2008.

On Thursday (9/12) the country’s top judge, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, increased the 14 year sentence passed on Simeon Jumah by four years and told Anthony Maina he will now serve a minimum of 20 years in prison and not 14.

Jumah, of Eighth Avenue, Manor Park and Maina, of Tollgate Road, Beckton, had been convicted of manslaughter, the latter was found guilty while already serving a 14-year minimum term for a murder.

Lord Judge said it was wrong that Maina had, effectively, received no more punishment for Mr Simpson’s death, because his six-year minimum for manslaughter had been ordered to run concurrently with the murder sentence.

Three other young men were convicted of manslaughter and jailed, while a fourth was locked up for conspiracy to rob after he was convicted at the Old Bailey.

But Lord Judge declined to increase the nine-year sentence of 18-year-old Randy Osei-Owusu, , and the seven-year term of Jamma Chambers, 18, both from Tower Hamlets for conspiracy to rob.

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He said that, while Jumah organised the plot and the man who dealt the final blows was Kobina Essel, Osei-Owusu and Maina were lookouts in the robbery plan.

A previous incident had resulted in Maina being convicted of murdering 17-year-old Rizwan Darber, in West Ham Park, and locked up for at least 14 years.

Their cases came back to court after they were referred by the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC.

Lord Judge said: “Manslaughter committed by the misuse of a knife in the course of a planned robbery is an offence of the utmost seriousness. That is what the pronouncements of this court have been driving at.

“Jumah was the organiser of this offence, the man who recruited younger men to participate in it, and then sought to distance himself from it by letting them commit the robbery while he kept his distance from it.

“A determinate sentence of 14 years” imprisonment did not sufficiently reflect his overall criminality or the true measure of his culpability.

“The sentence was unduly lenient. The sentence for manslaughter will be increased to 18 years” imprisonment.

“In relation to Maina, the sentence failed to reflect the fact that the second homicide offence of which he was convicted, committed whilst he was on bail for the first homicide offence, has resulted in no additional punishment at all.

“Although he is still young, it is inappropriate that the punitive element of the sentence to be imposed on him for this manslaughter should, in effect, be entirely subsumed in the sentence imposed on him for the earlier murder.”

His total minimum term for Mr Simpson’s manslaughter and the previous murder was increased to 20 years, but he will only then be freed if he is considered safe by the Parole Board.

The judge did not alter the sentences passed on Chambers or Osei-Owusu.