Emeka Dawuda-Wodu, 19, was one of three men who stabbed to death 35-year-old Ebrima Cham in an “orgy of violence” as he lay sleeping at his home in Hounslow in December 2019.
Earlier on the same day, Dawuda-Wodu and three members of his drug dealing gang had disposed of the chopped-up body parts of talented jazz musician William Algar, 53, on Hounslow Heath.
The decomposing head and torso of Mr Algar – known to friends as Blaise – was later found at the Barnes home where he been earlier been killed, after the property had been taken over as a drugs ‘trap house’, the Old Bailey heard.
Dawuda-Wodu, Simon Emmons, 40, and Zimele Dube, 33, were sentenced by Judge Wendy Joseph QC to life in prison for the murder of Mr Cham.
Dawuda-Wodu and Emmons – who opted to stay in his cell instead of coming to court for Tuesday’s hearing - were both ordered to serve at least 31-year in prison, while Dube must spend 28 years behind bars.
Dawuda-Wodu and Emmons were also sentenced with two other men, Jayano Lucima, 19, and Marc Harding, 45, for perverting the course of justice over the disposal of Mr Algar’s body, while Dawuda-Wodu was also convicted of the “ferocious” stabbing of a third victim – who survived – while he was wanted by police.
Lucima was sentenced to three-years-and-three-months in a youth offenders institution, and Harding was handed a three-year-and-three-month jail term. Judge Joseph urged the authorities to ensure they are monitored and assisted when released, to avoid slipping back into drug dealing.
“It is clear the five of you lost sight of right-thinking and decency”, said the judge. “Each of you was motivated by the immorality and illegality of the world to which you had attached yourself.”
“The disrespect and cruelty with which (Mr Algar’s) body was later treated beggars belief”, added Judge Joseph, saying his corpse had been “left to rot” for days before they eventually tried to dispose of it.
The court heard Dawuda-Wodu was recorded in prison after his arrest plotting a stream of tactics to try to avoid justice, including pretending to have been coerced into the drugs world.
When a woman told Dawuda-Wodu that she was “going to be the devil’s girlfriend”, the killer replied: “You already are.”
The court heard Mr Algar was murdered at the start of December 2019, and the way his body was dismembered and disposed over has thwarted efforts to identify the killer.
The musician, who suffered from mental health difficulties, was a vulnerable drug user whose flat had been taken over by dealers for the sale of heroin and crack cocaine.
Dawuda-Wodu, who had a “fascination with particularly dangerous knives” according to prosecutors, had threatened to kill Mr Algar’s cat in November 2019 over a drug debt.
Mr Algar is believed to have been stabbed to death at his home short after he was last sighted on CCTV on December 1, 2019. But it was not until more than two weeks later that a “council of war” was held by the drugs gang, to decide what to do with the body.
On December 16, the phone of Emmons was used to research dissolving a body in acid, inspired by a storyline from the TV show Breaking Bad, and three days later the gang used a taxi to transport Mr Algar’s remains in a suitcase to Hounslow Heath, to be dumped in holes already dug by Harding.
Later the same day, Mr Cham - a drug dealer known known as the ‘Brim Reaper’ with a penchant for robbing his rivals – was murdered for boasting about taking drugs from Dube.
“Hours after their disposal of body parts on Hounslow Heath, Dawuda-Wodu and Emmons joined with the heroin and crack cocaine dealer Zimele Dube to execute a planned attack on a rival of Dube’s, and someone Emmons had been in dispute with – the murder of Ebrima Cham, who was stabbed to death in an orgy of violence which was launched as he lay sleeping”, said prosecutor Peter Ratliff.
On Christmas Day 2019, Dawuda-Wodu and three men took over another flat to use as a drug dealing base, with the gang joking about the murder of Mr Cham and Dawuda-Wodu boasting about the gruesome disposal of Mr Algar’s body.
On January 2, 2020, and while “laying low” from police, he was involved in the stabbing of 20-year-old Charlie Hirshman in a row over a cigarette.
Mr Hirshman survived the attack after being stabbed repeatedly, but has been left with permanent life-altering damage including breathing difficulties and the inability to laugh or smile, the court heard.
Dawuda-Wodu, of no fixed address, denied but was found guilty at trial of murdering Mr Cham. He was cleared by the jury of Mr Algar’s murder, having already admitted perverting the course of justice and was later found guilty of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to Mr Hirshman.
Emmons, of Barnes, and Dube, from Wembley, denied but were found guilty of the murder of Mr Cham.
Emmons was also convicted by the jury with Lucima, of Hounslow, of perverting the course of justice, while Harding, of Isleworth, pleaded guilty to the same charge.