Father of man stabbed to death in Norfolk said God will judge his killer

Amrik Singh who has admitted the manslaughter of David Lawal.

Amrik Singh who has admitted the manslaughter of David Lawal. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary/Archant

The father of a drug dealer who was stabbed to death after he went to confront a rival gang as part of a turf war in a Norfolk town has forgiven his killer and said God will judge those involved.

Albert Lawal's son David, 25, was found dead at a bridge on the A134 Brandon Road in Thetford, where he had suffered a single stab wound to the neck on October 3 2019.

David Lawal

David Lawal was stabbed to death on Brandon Road in Thetford in October 2019. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary/Archant

Norwich Crown Court heard Mr Lawal’s death had followed a violent confrontation between him and Amrik Singh, 19, who was part of a second drugs gang involved in supplying class A drugs in the town.

Singh, from London, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter and two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and was sentenced to a total of six years in a Young Offenders Institution (YOI).

Judge Alice Robinson said Mr Lawal "did not deserve to die" adding that his family have been "devastated by his death".

Judge Alice Robinson who will be taking over as resident judge at Norwich Crown Court.

Judge Alice Robinson who will be taking over as resident judge at Norwich Crown Court. - Credit: Supplied by Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

But she accepted Singh had been acting in self defence and had significant mitigation, including his age at the time and his genuine remorse.

After Singh was sentenced Mr Lawal's father released a statement about his son's death.

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He described how, in his Nigerian culture, "David was the next in line behind me to be the leader of our family and the ‘man of the house’. 

"All my life achievements reflect on him after I’ve gone, but now it’s David who has gone.

"His life was so short lived. It has left a huge vacuum within the family and he can never be replaced.

“When we heard the awful news, we were devastated. My wife, David’s mother, collapsed when she heard the news. His siblings are lost without him now he has been taken from them all too soon.

“We are so surprised that he was mixing with these types of people when we found out. I am so lost and so sad about it all now.

“My wife has not been herself since and now suffers with illness. She is heartbroken and doesn’t know how she will get through life without her son."

He said the entire family has been devastated by David's death but insisted: “I have no grudge against the people concerned in David’s death. We all forgive them and leave judgment to God.”

Also sentenced on Friday were Iddi Zito, 19, from East London, Elie Saba, 36, of Ilford and Lisa DeSousa, 23, of London, who had all previously admitted conspiracy to supply class A drugs offences.

Elie Saba

Elie Saba - Credit: Norfolk Police

Zito was sentenced to three years, three months in a young offenders institute; Saba to eight years in custody and DeSousa to three years and three months in custody.

Iddi Zito

Iddi Zito - Credit: Norfolk Police

Before they were sentenced Amjad Malik QC, mitigating for DeSousa, said she was a "young woman" who had been "carrying out really dangerous and dirty work" running drugs on the streets.

Lisa DeSousa

Lisa DeSousa - Credit: Norfolk Police

He said DeSousa, who had indicated a guilty plea, had never been in a custodial setting before and had not been visited by her family.

The court heard from Oliver Glasgow QC, prosecuting, on Thursday (December 16) that Thetford became the focus of a number of London dealers who had decided the market there was "so lucrative it was worth travelling almost 100 miles to supply their poison".

Mr Glasgow said dealers operating as part of the 'Frankie' drugs line were supplying cocaine and heroin in Thetford at the same time as Mr Lawal was dealing drugs as part of his 'Baller' line.

He said: "The problem, of course, is such a rivalry could not end peacefully."

Mr Glasgow said both groups were "ready for violence" with both "ready to do whatever necessary to protect their business".

He said that Mr Lawal and a friend he had recruited were both armed and "went to the bridge to confront their rivals" and once there "violence broke out".

Mr Lawal was treated at the scene for more than 40 minutes but was pronounced dead at 7.54pm.

Rimmel Arthur, now 28, of Baronet Road, Greater London, who, like Mr Lawal had a knife to confront Singh, admitted possession of a bladed article at Norwich Crown Court in November 2019.

He was jailed for 18 months in January 2020.

Karim Khalil QC, mitigating for Singh, said his client was "quiet and remorseful" after the fatal attack.

Mr Khalil said he had a small knife which he was "willing to use in his own protection in self defence".

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