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Two jailed for Newham murder

News   •   Jul 26, 2019 18:00 BST

[Jailed: Braeden Henry and Sean Obazee]

Two men have been sentenced after being found guilty of murdering 19-year-old Abdul Mayanja in August 2017.

Sean Obazee, 24 (27.09.94), of North Pole Road, W10 and Braeden Henry, 25 (09.05.94), of Evelyn Road, E16 were convicted at the Old Bailey on Monday, 22 July.

On Friday, 26 July, Obazee was sentenced to life imprisonment to serve a minimum term of 30 years. Henry was sentenced to life imprisonment to serve a minimum of 31 years. 

The court heard that Obazee and Henry were known gang members, or associates of gang members, who on the evening of 25 August 2017 set out with murderous intent and fatally wounded Abdul Mayanja. 

On the night of the murder, Abdul had attended a BBQ in the Newham area before driving friends home. 

At around 22:40hrs, CCTV observed a vehicle travelling on Waddington Road towards Well Street. Two of the occupants left the vehicle and travelled on foot as a driver remained in the Qashqai, travelling at crawling pace alongside them. In evidence at court it was indicated that Obazee and Henry were the occupants that got out of the Qashqai. 

Abdul was approached by the gunmen as he was sat on a wall talking to a girl. He was asked what area he was from. Before Abdul had a chance to answer he was shot once and was left for dead in the street as the suspects got back into the Qashqai and fled.

Police were called and attended immediately, along with specialist firearms colleagues and the London Ambulance Service. Abdul was taken to an east London hospital, where he died from his injuries at 00:27 on 26 August 2017.

A post-mortem examination held at East Ham Mortuary on 30 August 2017 found the cause of death to be a gunshot wound to the chest.

Following the murder efforts were made to destroy evidence that could incriminate the pair. The Qashqai used during the shooting was discovered burnt out in Jade Close, Newham in the early hours of 26 August 2017.

Detectives from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command began a relentless investigation, identifying the suspects through CCTV, telematics and mobile phone enquiries.

Henry and Obazee were arrested in September 2017 and subsequently charged in November 2018.
On sentencing, the judge said that the pair demonstrated “wanton violence of the most extreme kind” and had killed an innocent man who had his whole life ahead of him.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Considine, of the Serious Crime Command, said: “On that night a 19-year-old man lost his life in the most brutal of circumstances, leaving his family grieving for the loss of a young life taken far, far too soon. Abdul was not a gang member, in fact he was a good boy with a bright future. He was shot by gang members trying to settle a score in a rival area. They were indiscriminative in who they targeted. 

“The actions of Obazee and Henry on that night were beyond callous; Abdul was outnumbered and ambushed and frankly did not stand a chance. 

“Because of the level of criminality involved and the awareness the defendants have around police tactics it has taken some time to accrue the necessary evidence against them. I would like to pay tribute to Abdul’s family who have been incredibly dignified, supportive and patient throughout the investigation and I hope that today’s sentencing allows them to move on.

Abdul’s mother said in a tribute to her son: “Abdul’s loss created a massive hole in the family, as he was not only a son but a brother and a friend to those around him. He was a role model to those he associated with. Abdul was very helpful and understanding. He always wore a smile on his face. He is sorely missed by everyone that knew him.

“Abdul was a much loved son, he conducted himself in a grown up manner, we were able to discuss anything. I always had so much pride in everything he said and did.

“I miss my dearest Abdul. I am left with a virtual sense of his existence. I will never forget the pain and disappointment he must have endured in his last moments. I don’t understand why anyone would want to harm him and that for us as parents will haunt us for a lifetime.”

The following four people were found not guilty at the same trial:

Alex Simos, 30 (18.09.88) and Marvin Simos, 23 (17.06.96) were found not guilty of murder and manslaughter.

Kieron Aransibia, 24 (03.12.94) and Jade Thrower, 24 (26.05.95) were found not guilty of perverting the course of justice.