Kwasi Mensah-Ababio: Four revenge-seeking friends guilty of killing Wembley shop worker
PUBLISHED: 17:11 23 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:59 24 March 2020
Four revenge-seeking friends have been found guilty of killing a shop worker in Wembley in a case of mistaken identity
Kwasi Mensah-Ababio was “simply in the wrong place at the wrong time” as he sat on a bench in Monks Park, a court was told.
He was shot in the head at close range in retribution for the murder of 32-year-old Craig Small two days earlier, jurors heard.
Rene Montaque, 35, from Harrow, Karlos Gracia, 23, and Alhassan Jalloh, 21, both from Stonebridge, were found guilty of murder today (March 23) following a trial at the Old Bailey.
A fourth defendant, Taalib Rowe, 25, from Wembley, was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter by a majority of nine to one.
The four killers had planned the murder to seek revenge after their friend Craig Small was killed two days before.
Mr Mensah-Ababio was killed because he bore a “striking resemblance” to a senior member of the “St Raphs” group called Darren Buchanan, nicknamed Pacman.
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The St Raphs group was blamed for the murder of Mr Small, who belonged to a rival group in Stonebridge, it was alleged.
On 7 July 2019, the four killers had all visited the shrine where Mr Small was gunned down and attended a gathering at his home that day and later followed into Monks Park.
Kwasi was sitting on a park bench when he was shot in the head. He died at the scene.
When Jalloh was arrested, he said to his mother that he was not going to see her again.
Emma Currie, from the CPS, said: “This was a cold-blooded killing of an innocent young man in a public park.
“[Mr Mensah-Ababio} was a hard-working man and was spending time relaxing in a park after a busy day working at Sainsbury’s - one of his three jobs. He had no gang affiliation and was not known to the police.
“Kwasi however bore a striking resemblance to the man that the defendants were looking for. The four killers callously shot him at close-range in an act of revenge. Kwasi was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Montaque’s sister had warned him not to do anything crazy, but he took it into his own hands to avenge the murder of his friend, with three of his associates. They will all now have to take responsibility for taking the life of an innocent person.
“This was a tragic loss of life but I hope Kwasi’s family and friends take some level of comfort in these convictions.”