Men jailed for killing of shop worker in Wembley

Men jailed for killing of shop worker in Wembley

Four men have been jailed over the death of a “humble” shop worker who was fatally shot in a case of mistaken identity.

Kwasi Mensah-Ababio, 26, was shot in the head at close range as he sat on a park bench in Wembley on July 7 last year.

He was wrongly identified as a gang member blamed for the killing of 32-year-old Craig Small in Monks Park two days before.

On Friday, gunman, Rene Montaque, 35, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 30 years for Mr Mensah-Ababio’s murder.

Karlos Gracia, 23, and Alhassan Jalloh, 21, were also convicted of murder and jailed for at least 26 years and 25-and-a-half years respectively.

Taalib Rowe, 25, was handed 17 years in prison for manslaughter following a trial in March.

Sentencing them on Friday, Judge Anuja Dhir QC said they had “wanted a life for a life”.

She said: “It was an execution of a completely innocent, hard-working, intelligent, much-loved young man”.

She said no words could describe the “grief and misery” caused to the victim’s family, who sat in court.

Explaining the background to the killing, she said: “Days earlier, a member of your gang, Craig Small, had been shot and killed.

“Shortly after Mr Small’s murder a shrine was erected near the spot where he was killed.

“Mr Mensah-Ababio was not involved with either gang or indeed any gang or any criminality. He was a law-abiding, humble man.”

The judge said the defendants, all from Wembley, had spotted the victim near the shrine and “mistaken” him for a member of the rival gang they believed was involved in Mr Small’s death.

Judge Dhir added: “For those of you convicted of murder it would be a mitigating factor if you had not intended Mr Mensah-Ababio would be killed but I am sure that was your intention.