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Guilty: Serial killer murdered dad-to-be Stefan Bledar Mone in his Sudbury home 20 years ago

PUBLISHED: 16:47 20 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:48 20 March 2019

Killer Mane Drize. Picture: Met Police

Killer Mane Drize. Picture: Met Police

Archant

A serial killer has been found guilty of stabbing and beating a dad-to-be in a frenzied attack at his Sudbury home 20 years ago.

Victim Stefan Bledar Mone. Picture: Met PoliceVictim Stefan Bledar Mone. Picture: Met Police

Mane Driza, known as Scarface character Tony Montana, was today convicted at the Old Bailey of killing Albanian national Stefan Bledar Mone in June 1999.

The 41-year-old had been extradited from Italy where he was in prison for a double murder and an attempted murder after killing Mr Mone and had previously killed another two people in his native Albania.

The jury took just 90 minutes to find him unanimously guilty.

The court heard Driza murdered Mr Mone at his flat in Fernbank Avenue, inflicting more than 120 injuries with a lock knife, pick axe handle and curved cheese knife.

Victim Stefan Bledar Mone and his killer Mane Drize. Picture: Met PoliceVictim Stefan Bledar Mone and his killer Mane Drize. Picture: Met Police

His six-months pregnant girlfriend Zoe Blay was confronted by a “horrific” scene when she found the body the next day.

Prosecutor Tim Gray said: “He had been so badly beaten that Zoe was only really able to confirm it was Stefan from a distinctive belt buckle on his trousers.”

In a statement Zoe said: “I cannot put into words or begin to explain that day I found Stefan’s body, it has traumatised me to this day, I suffer with flashbacks and nightmares. No one would want to see their loved one laying there like that.

Christopher our loving, kind and beautiful son grew up asking about his father from a very young age, I always told him Daddy is in heaven.”

The top floor flat in Fernhead Avenue where killer Mane Drize murdered Stefan Bledar Mone. Picture: Met PoliceThe top floor flat in Fernhead Avenue where killer Mane Drize murdered Stefan Bledar Mone. Picture: Met Police

She added: “Stefan’s family, yes they have a grandson but they will never see their son again. They will never see him on his wedding day, the day he would have brought his son into the world. Stefan was cruelly robbed of this and we as a family have also been robbed.”

Stonemason Driza, then aged 21, had become angry at his 23-year-old friend, who he accused of stealing his wedding ring, jurors heard.

On the morning of June 22, as Mr Mone took Zoe to an ante-natal appointment, Driza told workmates in Watford that he would kill him, even asking one of them to take him to buy a knife, the court heard.

CCTV tracked Driza returning to Sudbury to kill Mr Mone.

It emerged in court that Driza was convicted with his father of two charges of “premeditated murder in complicity of citizens” in Albania in December 2001.

The victims, father and son Elmaz and Lavdosh Kannani, lived in the same village as the Drizas.

Following the retribution killings in 1997 Driza came to Britain and fled in 1999 after killing Mr Mone.

He was arrested in Sicily in 2002, and convicted of a conspiracy to murder Maskaj Artan and Blushaj Albert, and the attempted murder of Maskaj Lefter three years earlier.

He remained in prison until he was brought to Britain by UK police on May 31 last year.

Det Insp Garry Moncrieff, from the Met’s murder squad, said Driza was “an extremely violent individual” who has “never shown remorse.”

“What is particularly sad is that Stefan was three months away from becoming a father and never had the chance to see his child grew up,” he said.

“This case shows the determination and tenacity of the Met Police in ensuring those who commit violence are dealt with properly, no matter how long ago offences occurred. I hope it also brings a sense of closure and comfort to Stefan’s family, that the man who carried out this horrendous attack will in all likelihood never be released from prison.”

Driza, also known as Sokol Dronova, of no fixed abode, will be sentenced on April 3 at the same court.

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