Stonemason charged with Sudbury dad-to-be’s murder is a convicted killer of four other men, court hears

Victim Stefan Bledar Mone. Picture: Met Police

Victim Stefan Bledar Mone. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Archant

A Sudbury dad-to-be was beaten and stabbed by his friend who is a convicted killer responsible for the deaths of four other men in Europe, a court has heard.

Stefan Bledar Mone, who lived in Fernbank Avenue, was the victim of a “brutal and merciless” attack on June 23 1999 at the hands of Mane Driza, known to friends as Scarface character Tony Montana.

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

He allegedly launched an attack on Mr Mone at his home in Fernbank inflicting more than 120 injuries with a lock knife and pick axe handle, and cutting his throat with a curved cheese knife, jurors heard.

The court heard Mr Mone’s pregnant girlfriend found the body the next day but was only able to identify him by his belt buckle.

By then Driza had taken a flight to Italy, where he went on to kill two more men and attempt to kill a third.

Police tracked him down in Sicily the following year.

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Prosecutor Jonathan Polnay read out the defendant’s history of extreme violence in agreed facts at the Old Bailey trial yesterday.

It emerged that Driza had killed two men in his home country of Albania two years before Mr Mone’s death, and went on to shoot two others dead in Italy afterwards.

In Albania, Driza was convicted with his father of two charges of “premeditated murder in complicity of citizens” 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 allegedly 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.

On his arrival he was arrested and charged with the murder of Mr Mone.

The court was told Driza had been tried in his absence in Albania but accepts he did shoot the men in both countries.

Driza, 41, also known as Sokol Drenova and of no fixed abode, denies murder.

The trial continues.