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Man jailed for life after killing teenager for being from ‘wrong’ neighbourhood

Godfrey Madondo, 20, killed Jeremiah Sewell, 19, following a ‘chance meeting’ in Beckenham Place Park in south London last July.

A young man has been given a life sentence after twice stabbing a teenager in the neck for being from the wrong neighbourhood.

Godfrey Madondo, 20, killed 19-year-old Jeremiah Sewell following a “chance meeting” in Beckenham Place Park in south London on July 16 last year.

Prosecutor Alan Kent KC had told jurors the motive for the murder “appears to be simply because the deceased came from Beckenham” and the defendant and his friends were from Peckham, in south London.

Mr Kent said: “It was a chance meeting, in the early hours of the morning, in an otherwise deserted car park in the middle of a public park.”

Jeremiah Sewell murder
Jeremiah Sewell was murdered for being from the wrong neighbourhood (Met Police/PA)

After the murder, Khelsi Johnson-Davies and Leah Simmonds together cleaned and threw away Madondo’s bloodstained clothes, the court heard.

A jury at the Old Bailey deliberated for five hours on Tuesday to find Madondo guilty of murder.

Johnson-Davies, 20, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice. Simmonds, 20, had admitted the charge.

A fourth defendant, Kadjo Kadio, 19, from Romford. Essex, was cleared of murder and an alternative offence of manslaughter.

Godfrey Madondo custody image
Godfrey Madondo stabbed his victim in the neck (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Madondo was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 24 years at the Old Bailey on Friday.

During the trial, the court had heard how the victim had met up with a group which ended up in Beckenham Place Park at 4am.

They were inhaling laughing gas from balloons, playing music and swapping places in their cars, jurors heard.

At 4.25am, the defendants arrived in a black Astra and Madondo got out of the front passenger seat wearing a balaclava and approached the victim’s car.

Someone heard the question: “What ends you with?”

The victim replied: “I’m a B boy.”

Within seconds, he was stabbed twice in the neck and also received a superficial cut to the shoulder.

Mr Sewell was driven to Lewisham Hospital where he died at 5.36am.

Madondo fled the scene but was arrested the next day and declined to answer questions in a police interview.

Johnson-Davies was arrested at her Peckham home on July 19, and a grey balaclava with Madondo’s DNA on it was seized.

An examination of her phone led to “incriminating” conversations with Simmonds in which she advised her to wash Madondo’s bloodstained clothes at “90 degrees”.

Following Simmonds’ arrest, communal bins near her home in Dulwich, south London, were searched and a bin bag containing Madondo’s grey hoodie and jogging bottoms was recovered.

Following the verdicts, Judge Nigel Lickley KC remanded Madondo into custody and warned he faced a life sentence when he returned to court on Friday.

He adjourned sentencing the two women to a date to be fixed in August and granted Johnson-Davies conditional bail.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Wood, from Scotland Yard, said after the conviction: “Jeremiah’s murder was an utterly senseless and barbaric act – the speed in which the situation escalated, and the fact that Jeremiah was sitting defenceless in the back of a car, offering no threat to Madondo, makes it all the more futile.

“From the outset, Madondo has not made any attempt to explain why he attacked Jeremiah, let alone accept responsibility for his actions.

“They have left Jeremiah’s family wondering why their loved one was viciously attacked – when he could have provided answers; he has taken the coward’s option and kept quiet.

“Madondo was supported by Johnson-Davis and Simmonds who attempted to dispose of evidence in a futile attempt to cover his murderous tracks.

“Nothing will undo the catastrophic consequences of that night, but I hope the conviction of these three people will at least give Jeremiah’s family and friends some sense that justice has been served.”

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