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Dulwich off-licence stabbing: Man found guilty of murder

Dennis Anderson Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Dennis Anderson was stabbed in Lordship Lane, East Dulwich

A man has been found guilty of stabbing a stranger to death outside a shop following a row over a cigarette.

Jahmel Riley, 25, used a "Rambo-style" hunting knife to slash 39-year-old Dennis Anderson in the neck in the early hours of 10 February.

Riley attacked Mr Anderson at the off-licence on Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, after he had been refused a cigarette.

He was found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey on Friday. Sentencing will take place on Tuesday.

Riley had been "hustling" customers at the Pay Less shop for a cigarette, when Mr Anderson responded: "Why are you asking for cigarettes? Why don't you get a job like the rest of us?"

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC said the defendant moved towards the shop door and the way was clear for him to leave and bring the confrontation to an end.

"That is not what he did. Rather, it was at that point that the defendant then produced and unsheathed the large Rambo-style knife he was carrying."

Mr Anderson had tried to disarm Riley and, as they both fell to the ground outside the store, CCTV showed Riley making a stabbing motion to Mr Anderson's neck, Mr Atkinson said.

Riley then fled before handing himself into police three days later.

Image copyright @Phil_McCrae88
Image caption Jahmel Riley got into a row in the Pay Less shop after asking strangers for a cigarette

The double-edged knife used was abandoned at the scene and found to have a 10-inch (25cms) blade.

Riley claimed Mr Anderson was the aggressor and the stabbing was accidental.

Riley also claimed he had taken the knife off some young people earlier that evening and had been meaning to throw it away.

But the prosecution argued Mr Anderson's injuries "told a very different story", showing a series of deliberate blows to the upper body.

The jury was told Riley had a previous conviction from 2013 for possession of an offensive weapon and threatening behaviour.

Leeanne Manzi, Mr Anderson's partner of 23 years, said: "There is now a huge void in our family that can't be filled.

"We used to have fun and love and hope in our lives and the actions of the defendant have taken that from us."

Judge Nicholas Hilliard said the killing showed the dangers of carrying knives.

"What might otherwise have been just a verbal disagreement becomes a murder case because the defendant was carrying that terrible weapon," the judge said.

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