Five men have been jailed after detectives carried out extensive CCTV work and phone analysis to track their movements before and after a brutal robbery which resulted in a Redbridge man’s murder.
Dwain Morrison, 34, of Chudleigh Road, Romford, was sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday October 6 to a minimum of 33 years imprisonment for the murder of 30-year-old Imran Isat in Ilford. He had been found guilty of the offence at an earlier hearing in July.
Four others were jailed for manslaughter:
Salah’din Kerbouba, 28, of Sandringham Gardens, IG6 – sentenced to minimum of 16 years imprisonment
Ronnie Haydon, 32, of Grafton Crescent, NW1 – sentenced to minimum of 16 years imprisonment
Paul Higgins, 36, of Fanshawe Crescent, Hornchurch – sentenced to minimum of 16 years imprisonment
Dominic Diop, 33, of Cranfield Park Avenue, Basildon – sentenced to minimum of 16 years imprisonment.
Detective Chief Inspector Joanna Yorke from the Met’s Specialist Crime, said: “This was a planned robbery by a gang who had pre-armed themselves with knives and machetes. Members of the gang were recorded scoping out the house prior to the assault and the cars they used were on false plates.
“The weapons they brought with them clearly show these men were ready to use violence. This killing was pointless, it is probable that when the fatal stab wound was inflicted, Mr Isat was on the ground and not offering any resistance. It was a callous act of brutality. We may never know what the gang stole, but it was surely not worth killing a man while he was helpless on the ground.”
The court heard how on March 19 2022, 30-year-old Mr Isat was in the living room of his home on Springfield Drive in Ilford, watching television with a couple of friends.
What he did not know was that five men had decided to break in and rob him, and that his home was being watched.
At around 1:15am the five men began their assault. They broke through the front door, two then broke down the door of Mr Isat’s flatmate while the others went upstairs to the living room.
On hearing the noise Mr Isat went to the living room door to try and keep the men out, but he couldn’t close it.
A struggle began at the door and one of the men, who was holding a large knife, managed to stab Mr Isat through the gap, forcing him backwards.
The robbers forced their way in armed with knives and machetes, they were shouting “where’s the stuff?”
Mr Isat said something like “don’t hurt me – take what you want”, but one of the robbers stabbed him, while another struck one of his friends on the head with the flat blade of a knife.
One of the robbers then shouted “we’ve found it”, and “let’s go”; they then ran from the scene.
CCTV later recorded Higgins leaving with a bag and a suitcase and then going back inside to get a second suitcase. Haydon also left carrying a bag. None of the defendants ever told police what was in the bags and police were never able to uncover what they stole.
Mr Isat was pronounced dead at the scene.
A post-mortem examination later found that he had been stabbed five times and one of the wounds was fatal having gone into his chest and penetrated his heart.
Detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime (homicide) began a murder investigation and it soon became apparent that the robbery had been planned.
CCTV and doorbell cameras showed some members of the gang arriving earlier and keeping the house under surveillance.
It is believed that the gang were after drugs or money, or both, and they had armed themselves with knives and machetes in order to carry out the crime.
The five men were all arrested on dates in July 2022 and all refused to answer police questions. They were charged with robbery and murder and three – Diop, Higgins and Morrison – pleaded guilty to robbery but not guilty to murder.
Haydon admitted he was at the scene, but denied robbery as he stated he did not use or threaten violence.
Kerbouba was the only one who denied he was ever at the scene and he pleaded not guilty to murder and robbery.
However, after hearing all of the evidence, the jury found all five guilty of their role in the attack.