A drug dealer who killed a man when he tried to stop him from attacking one of his friends has been jailed for life.
Levi Paschal, 34, stabbed 38-year-old Lee Casey with a large hunting knife after the victim tried to prevent him from assaulting a pal in a south London park on 29 August 2019.
Paschal and his partner Clementine Jones arranged to meet a man at Rush Common on Brixton Hill to buy drugs, jurors were told.
When they arrived an argument ensued during which Paschal armed himself with a large hunting knife and attempted to attack the man.
He ran away but slipped and was grabbed by Paschal.
Mr Lee – seeing the events unfolding in front of him – attempted to intervene but when he did so, he was stabbed by Paschal.
Passersby gave first aid until police and the London Ambulance Service arrived but Mr Casey died in hospital that afternoon.
Paschal and Jones fled together, and the knife was never recovered.
The defendants were identified after an investigation was launched by the Met’s Specialist Crime Command and were arrested and charged on 1 September 2019.
Mr Casey’s sister Michelle said: “Lee's heroic actions in trying to protect someone did not come as a surprise to us.
“However, this brave and selfless deed resulted in his life being taken.
"Levi Paschal was willing to destroy anything that got in his way, including Lee's life.
“He can still see and speak to his loved ones but we will never see or speak to Lee again. How is that fair?
“There is no punishment he could receive that would ever be slightly comparable to the punishment he caused us when he ripped Lee from us.
She added: “All we have wished for is to hear Lee say 'I love you' as he always did, but we will never hear this again.”
Paschal, 34, of Clarence Avenue, was found guilty of murder after a trial at the Old Bailey on 28 January.
He was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 20 years on Friday and was also sentenced to 11 years for attempted robbery and six years for GBH against a second victim.
Jones, 32, also of Clarence Avenue, was found guilty of attempted robbery and causing GBH with intent on a second victim at the same trial.
She was sentenced to ten years for attempted robbery and five years for GBH and three additional months for a separate suspended sentence.
Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin said: “The actions of Levi Paschal have utterly devastated Lee Casey’s family and friends.
“While no words can begin to ease the pain they are suffering, I hope they can take some solace in the fact that Lee was bravely attempting to assist a friend when he was fatally attacked."
Jones was found not guilty of Lee’s murder and both were acquitted of a further count of attempted robbery.
It emerged at the trial the couple was under investigation for an attempted robbery in March 2019 when Mr Casey was murdered.