The two men who murdered a young drill rapper in Deptford have been handed life sentences, writes Kit Heren…
Jedaiah Param, from West Norwood, and Elijah Morgan, of no fixed address, were found guilty last month of the murder of Crosslon Davis in an alleyway in Deptford in 2019.
The pair were sentenced to a minimum of 28 years in jail on Monday (April 19). Police say two other attackers are still at large and have urged anyone who has information on them to come forward.
Crosslon, 20, was said to be a “highly regarded” drill artist who was a member of the Harlem Spartans, a well-known music collective primarily based in Kennington.
His mother called him “easy to love”, “compassionate and loyal” and said the attackers had “ripped out her heart”.
The twenty-year-old, known as Bis, suffered at least nine wounds to his head, back and chest when he was set upon by four youths armed with knives or machetes.
Most of the attack in early hours of December 6 2019 was caught on CCTV footage.
Analysis of mobile phone records showed that Crosslon arrived at Deptford Creek with a friend in the early hours of 6 December 2019.
Cell site data of mobile phones belonging to Morgan and Param showed they had arrived in the same area slightly earlier.
The pair were identified by homicide detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command through CCTV from a minicab that was called to pick them up at the scene.
The court heard the violent attack started after Morgan and Param got into the minicab and Crosslon attacked Morgan with a mallet.
The minicab drove away from the scene a short distance before the driver was told to stop and Morgan and Param got out and started chasing Crosslon.
CCTV footage from Ha’penny Hatch showed that Crosslon was pursued by the pair, as well as two other unidentified males, who were all armed with knives or machetes.
The court heard that all four of them stabbed Crosslon, who collapsed to the ground. Crosslon’s friend had tried to place himself between him and the attackers, but he was overpowered.
Police said a number of local residents provided statements describing how they had seen the group running after Crosslon.
Police and paramedics were called to the scene. Despite their efforts, Crosslon died a short time later due to the loss of blood from at least nine stab wounds, including one that penetrated his lung and heart.
Crosslon’s friend called 999 and initially stayed with him until the emergency services arrived. However, officers say he gave a false name at the scene and declined to give a witness statement, or help with the police investigation in any way.
Morgan was identified after a police officer recognised him from the minicab CCTV footage. He was arrested at an address in Birmingham on 2 January.
Param, who was also identified via the minicab CCTV, was arrested at Dover Eastern Docks after he was found hiding underneath a coat in the back of a car as it went through passport control.
Both men declined to comment in police interviews and subsequently pleaded not guilty to murder. Morgan’s defence during the trial was that he was wrongly identified.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Vandenbergh, the lead investigator, said: “This was a savage and merciless attack. Crosslon was clearly running way from his attackers, who set upon him armed with large knives.
“The number of stab wounds sustained by Crosslon demonstrates the murderous intent of the four people who hunted him down.
“I think it is right that Elijah Morgan and Jedaiah Param have received lengthy jail sentences for their part in the attack. I am also pleased that we have some justice for Crosslon’s family, who have conducted themselves with the greatest of dignity throughout the court process.
“We know there are still two other people who took part in this attack, who have not yet been identified, and we are still determined to find them. I urge anyone who knows where they are to contact police immediately.”
Crosslon’s mother Vivienne said: “My life was all about Crosslon. He was reason for leaving my house, the reason I cook every day, he is the first thing on my mind when I wake and the last thing on my mind at night. We had lots of laughs through good and bad and he was also my friend.
“We still can’t believe this is happening. Crosslon’s life was tragically cut short, and I am still numb and paralysed, plagued by grief and pain. They have ripped out my heart. We are haunted by what happened to Cross.
“Crosslon was easy to love, so polite and always respectful. He was popular amongst his friends, fun, compassionate and loyal. He will be greatly missed by them all as they also continue to grieve their loss.”