A man who chased his unarmed former friend down the street and fatally stabbed him has been jailed.
Momodu Samura, 23, (20.03.99) of Stanley Road, Haringey, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 23 years at Wood Green Crown Court on Friday, 13 May for the murder of 21-year-old Tyreke Watson.
He was found guilty of murder and possession of a bladed article following a trial at the same court on Thursday, 31 March. He was given a concurrent term of imprisonment of 12 months for the possession of a bladed article and 30 months for possession with intent to supply cocaine and heroin, which he had separately pleaded guilty to.
Detective Chief Inspector Linda Bradley, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “Tyreke was only 21 years old and had his whole life ahead of him when he was senselessly murdered by Samura, who at one point claims to have been his friend.
“At the time of his death, Tyreke and his girlfriend were expecting a baby. The baby is now a year old and she will grow up never having known her father.
“Our thoughts very much remain with Tyreke’s family and friends; they have been stoic and dignified throughout the legal proceedings and we hope the conclusion of the trial allows them to move forward.
“Samura equally is a young man who had his whole life ahead of him. He will now rightly face the consequences of carrying and using a knife. This dreadful incident clearly highlights that carrying a knife can only ever lead to tragedy.”
The court heard how on 22 February 2021 Tyreke saw Samura outside a shop on West Green Road, near to his home address. Samura was there to buy back the PlayStation he had pawned the week before.
Samura asserted that the two men were friends, however their phone contact stopped in November 2020. It is not known why they stopped speaking.
The jury heard that Tyreke approached Samura and they spoke for a few minutes outside the shop. A witness told the court that the men seemed relaxed, like friends talking.
Samura then showed Tyreke an object from his pocket, which seemingly prompted Tyreke to reach for the pocket, and led to the two men struggling in the doorway of the shop.
Tyreke broke free and backed away from Samura. Samura was then seen with a flick-knife in his hand chasing Tyreke down the street and in between parked cars.
Samura caught-up with Tyreke outside a garage where he stabbed him in the chest.
Samura then put the knife in his waistband and ran back to his home in nearby Stanley Road.
Tyreke managed to cross the road to the block of flats where he lived and he collapsed in the communal area. The security guard called 999 at 15:56hrs.
Sadly, despite best efforts of police, London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance, Tyreke was pronounced dead at the scene at 16:46hrs.
Samura got home at 15:58hrs and he stayed there until 17:15hrs, when he was driven away in a car.
He was seen on CCTV to go to a cash machine further east along West Green Road two minutes later. He had changed out of the clothing he was wearing at the time of the stabbing.
Phone records showed he stopped using his mobile phone after the stabbing and he bought a new Oyster card on 23 February 2021 – all efforts to make it difficult for police to locate him.
Officers searched Samura’s home address. A flick-knife, later found to have Tyreke’s blood on it, was found in a kitchen cupboard. Officers also found a large machete in the garden under Samura’s bedroom window and notebooks containing rap lyrics that glorified the use of knives as weapons. A quantity of cocaine and heroin in wraps was found in his bedroom, with a street value in the region of £600.
Samura was located and arrested just after midnight on 24 February 2021 at a friend’s house in Bow.
He was taken to an east London police station where he answered no comment to all questions in his police interview. He was charged on 25 February 2021.
During his trial, Samura admitted that he caused the injury to Tyreke, but claimed that he did it in self-defence. However, the jury did not believe him and he was convicted as above.
In a statement read to the court, Tyreke’s mother said: “The 22 February 2021 is a date that changed mine and my family’s life forever. This was the date my son Tyreke died, this was the date our son Tyreke was murdered. The pain and suffering I felt that day as a mother is still with me, and I know it will never go away.
“Tyreke was the only child my husband and I had together. He was our everything, bringing us happiness and joy. Even though there is an empty place in my heart I, along with my family, will always have cherished memories of Tyreke that no one can ever take away.
“Before Tyreke was killed he found out that he was going to be a father. We were all so excited and happy, Tyreke more than any of us. On 2 June 2021, Tyreke’s daughter was born. She will never know her father and Tyreke never had the opportunity to meet his daughter. His daughter will never receive the love that Tyreke had to offer and will only know her father through photos, stories and our beloved memories.
“Unless you have buried your child, no one will ever understand the emotion my husband and I feel. I simply don’t have the vocabulary to explain how devastated we are.
“Young men like Tyreke are being murdered on the streets of London far too often. The Met Police has demonstrated in this court what a fantastic job they are doing but, they need the support of the community, they need the support of London.”
+ It is absolutely critical that we, along with our partners, drive down violent crime in London – this is the top priority for all in the Met.
Our plans are strong and officers are using a range of tactics from prevention and diversion activities to enforcement. Current financial year data shows positive reductions across serious violent crime categories:
Financial Year (FY) April 2021 – March 2022 the serious violence figures are:
Homicide: Has seen a 17% reduction against 2019/20 with 126 recorded homicide offences
Robbery: Has seen a 39% reduction against 2019/20 with 24,394 recorded robbery offences
Knife crime under 25: Has seen 21% reduction against 2019/20 with 1,227 recorded offences
Lethal Barrel Discharges: Has seen a 28% reduction against 2019/20 with 196 recorded offences
We know we have a challenge ahead of us but we will continue to make it harder for violent and predatory people,
drug dealers and those involved in county lines gangs and organised crime to operate
We remain confident in our continued determination to progress the in-roads we have made, along with our partners to prevent and tackle violence and keep our communities safe.