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Life for man who killed promising teen athlete

KILLED: Slyvester Akapalara

A MAN has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of 17-year-old Slyvester Akapalara.

David Nyamupfukudza, 19, will serve a minimum of 26 years behind bars for the brutal murder of the teen, who was a promising athlete.

He was also sentenced to a further life imprisonment and ordered to serve a minimum of 20 years' for attempted murder (to run concurrently).

Sylvester and his friends were chased down the communal stairs in the Pelican Estate in Peckham, south London by Nyamupfukudza and 20-year-old Sodiq Adeojo in December 2010. During this chase, Sylvester was shot in the neck, causing him to bleed to death.

Sylvester, (also known as Vesta) was found in the fourth floor stairwell at Heron House. He was suffering from gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sodiq Adeojo was handed down a 30-year sentence for the murder in February.

JAILED: David Nyamupfukudza

He was also found guilty of two counts of attempted murder, possession of a firearm with intent and possession of an offensive weapon.

Trident detectives investigating the murder established that Sylvester and two of his friends were meeting on the 8th floor of Heron House to exchange some cannabis worth around £10. Whilst they were there they noticed a gang of youths approaching the bottom of the tower block.

Slyvester’s two friends ran for their lives chased by the defendants. As they tried to get out of the building they were stabbed several times and attempts were made to shoot them but the gun had jammed.

Both victims managed to escape with their lives, scared and alone they ran home and were later treated for their injuries.

Residents in Heron House heard the gunshot and the commotion and called the police. Police found Sylvester on the stairwell, but he had already died from his injuries.

DI Matt Gosling from Trident Gang Crime Command said:
"I am pleased to see Nyamupfukudza jailed today. Sylvester was brutally gunned down and murdered in the most callous way and it is only because the gun jammed that his two friends were not shot too.

"The Trident Gang Command will pursue relentlessly those individuals who are intent on committing violence and murder. We are also here if you want to engage with us and want our help in exiting a gang lifestyle but, if you do not, we will identify you and we will arrest you."

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