Three men were sentenced this afternoon for stabbing a 20-year-old to death in a "brutal" revenge attack.
Chez Degoze, 28, Reice Brown, 21, and Lemar Martin, 18, were jailed for the murder of Ibrahim Ali at the Old Bailey this afternoon.
Mr Ali, 20, was stabbed to death at Stamford Close, Tottenham, on March 10, 2013.
The attack was a reprisal for a fight between two groups of men a month earlier at the Goose pub in Wood Green.
Degoze and Brown, both over the age of 18 at the time of the attack, were given sentences with a minimum time of 26 years and 20 years respectively.
Lemar Martin, who was under 18 at the time of Mr Ali’s killing and therefore eligible for a minimum sentence of 12 years, was sentenced to 14 years.
Mr Michael Bromley Martin, the barrister defending Reice Brown, argued that as Brown was “only just” over 18 at the time of the fatal stabbing, it was unfair to give him a much longer sentence than Martin.
However, the judge Gerald Gordon ruled that although “people do not change in responsibility overnight”, a gap of three years in age between the men was a significant difference.
He added that although neither Degoze nor Brown could have known that the group involved in the earlier attack in Wood Green would turn up at the party, the fact that they asked Lemar Martin to bring weapons showed that they intended to cause serious harm.
He said: “It’s clear from the evidence that your presence inside the party, Degoze and Brown, was for drug dealing purposes.”
He added: “You were getting Lemar Martin to bring the knives for the purpose of using them.”
Speaking directly to Degoze, the judge said: “As a result of your actions a young man who, in my view, had not been involved in the earlier incident in any way, and had not been aggressive that night, lost his life. The effect on his family has been devastating.”
He said that Degoze, the eldest of the three men, was “clearly the ringleader”.
The judge said that he believed Brown was involved in Mr Ali’s stabbing out of loyalty to his brother, despite not being involved in the earlier incident, and added that Martin, who was the youngest of the three, may have been storing and carrying weapons for a group as part of an “introduction to crime”.
He told Martin that although he had told “many lies”, he had ultimately helped the police with their enquiries and would therefore have his sentence slightly reduced.
Detective Inspector Mark Lawson, of the Homicide and Serious Command, said: “I’m pleased that the judge recognised that Ibrahim Ali played no part in either the assault at the pub in Wood Green or in the lead up to his tragic death.
“I think the sentences reflected the brutality of the murder and it’s only right that Chez Degoze bears the brunt of sentence. Degoze was the driving force behind this.
“A young man lost his life and his family are still coming to terms with it.”
He added: “I thought Lemar Martin would get about 17 years, but he was credited for giving us the true version of events.”