Two British teenagers jailed for life for stabbing man to death over unpaid debt

Two British teenagers have been jailed for life for stabbing a wine salesman to death in an act of "madness" over an unpaid debt.

Omar Raza, 23, was killed near Turnpike Lane, north London, on February 15 in broad daylight after being lured under the pretence of selling car insurance, the Old Bailey heard.

The victim was set upon by 18-year-olds Akol Garang and George Rodriguez Galean and bled to death in the street.

23-year-old Omar Raza

Following the attack, described by one witness as a scene from a "horror movie", the defendants made off with his Armani watch and iPhone.

Following a trial, the knifeman Garang, from Hornsey, was found guilty of murder and conspiracy to rob, along with Rodriguez Galean of Wood Green, north London, who he had recruited to help.

Garang was jailed for life at the Old Bailey for at least 19 years and Rodriguez Galean was detained for a minimum of 15 years for his lesser role.

They were both handed six years' detention for the robbery plot, to run concurrently.

Judge Sarah Munro QC told the pair that they had a glowing future ahead of them until they "embarked on this madness".

Earlier in the hearing, Mr Riza's sister Shamilla Niazi described her brother as the "soul of the family".

As a result of his death, his father suffered sleepless nights, his mother "receded into a shell" and his brother no longer interacted much and was confined to his room, she said.

Akol Garang (left) and George Rodriguez Galean who have been jailed for life for stabbing wine salesman, Omar Raza

His fiancee Somaira Khan said in a victim impact statement that she had lost her "soulmate" and felt like her life had stopped.

The court heard former Argos worker Garang had expressed his "very deep regret" for what happened and accepted responsibility for it.

Rodriguez Galean also expressed his remorse and said in a letter: "Hopefully my parents will still be around to see me do something good with my life in the world as that is all they wanted for their children."

The trial had heard how Mr Raza was working in the wine department of Selfridges and as a sideline, earned commissions by arranging car insurance for individuals through an insurance broker he knew.

He first met Garang after he answered an advert for the sale of a laptop, which he bought for his fiancee's daughter.

He went on to arrange car insurance for the defendant who later failed to pay up the full amount owed, leading to a dispute over the debt.

Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC said: "The deceased was lured to that location under the pretence that he was going to be selling car insurance to a female called Stacey.

"In fact, it was a trap - Stacey didn't exist.

"The trap had been set by the first defendant, Akol Garang, who had been involved in a dispute with Omar Raza relating to the non-payment of car insurance that Omar Raza had arranged for him.

"In the course of this dispute, Omar Raza had taken a laptop off Akol Garang; this had made Akol Garang angry and, as a consequence, this sham meeting was arranged so he could take his revenge by attacking Omar Raza with a knife and robbing him."

The barrister said Garang enlisted the help of his friend Rodriguez Galean who "agreed to play his part in the ambush".


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