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Teenager Convicted Of CCTV Knife Murder
A 17-year-old youth has been convicted of the murder of a young man with learning difficulties in a knife-point mugging caught on CCTV.
Dean Mayley was stabbed in the heart by Jamal Jones after he refused to hand over his mobile phone in Greenford, west London, on February 7.
The 24-year-old, who had a mental age of nine due to a brain disorder called Microcephaly, probably did not fully understand what the robbers wanted, the Old Bailey heard.
CCTV footage showed three hooded figures approach Mr Mayley and confront him, before one of them lashed out with a knife.
The victim then staggered and collapsed into the road as members of the public rushed to help. He died later in hospital.
The prosecution said Miguel Leiba, 17, from Hanwell, and Ryan Beresford, 19, blocked Mr Mayley's path and Michael Mensah, 18, drove them to and from the scene.
Beresford, of Acton, west London; Mensah, of Greenford, and Leiba denied murder, but were convicted of manslaughter.
They were also found guilty of the attempted robbery of Mr Mayley.
Donna Mayley, Dean's mother, wept as the verdicts were delivered and the defendants wailed in the dock.
Judge Martyn Zeidman QC said: "For somebody to lose their life in these circumstances is a disaster. There are no sufficient words to demonstrate the sadness.
"Yet another example of a kind and innocent person losing their life because of somebody else using a knife."
Prosecutor Simon Denison QC said all four youths had lied about what happened on the day of the murder.
He said: "These four were a team of knife-point robbers driving up and down the Ruislip Road looking for a victim or victims.
"That is why Dean Mayley was targeted, not just by Jamal Jones but by all of them."
In his defence, Jones admitted he had tried to rob Mr Mayley, but denied he had meant to harm him.
He told the court: "He was getting fidgety. His hands were in his pockets. He was looking straight into my eyes.
"I asked him again 'just give me your phone'. He shrugged and said 'what are you going to do about it?'.
"And then I just literally panicked. I did not know what to do and I'm thinking 'is this guy going to hit me?' because of his body language.
"I thrust out first. I hit him first - I did not intend to hurt him. I just meant to do a slice and that's it."
He said he had been made to look after the knife earlier in the day by another boy who approached him in college.
The court heard that Mensah wrote a menacing letter to Jones to persuade him not to implicate him in the murder.
A search of Jones' bedroom revealed a kitchen knife stashed under his mattress and a meat cleaver on top of his wardrobe.
All four will be sentenced on October 2.