East Ham manslaughter: Two convicted after drug deal went wrong

·2-min read
Junaid Sulaiman and Rayhan Yasin Ali (right) have been convicted  (Met Police )
Junaid Sulaiman and Rayhan Yasin Ali (right) have been convicted (Met Police )

Two men have been convicted of manslaughter after a man was stabbed to death in East Ham when a drug deal went wrong.

The Old Bailey heard Abiola Akerele, 28, was killed on December 29, 2020, in an altercation after Rayhan Yasin Ali and Junaid Sulaiman attended his address in Stondon Walk to buy cannabis.

Ali, 19, of East Ham, and Sulaiman, 21, of Newham, were found guilty of manslaughter but not murder on Tuesday.

They will return to the Old Bailey in September for sentencing.

Two other men who had been charged were acquitted of murder and manslaughter.

It was said that Mr Akerele had recently lost his job and had begun to deal cannabis to earn money. Shortly after 3pm on December 29, the defendants arrived after telling Mr Akerele they wanted to buy drugs, but after he went outside an altercation began and a fight broke out with the victim stabbed multiple times in a “savage attack”.

Mr Akerele was helped back inside but died an hour later.

The Met Police said CCTV analysis was key to piecing the events together while officers recovered various items of clothing from the suspects that matched those worn by the attackers. Mr Akerele’s blood was also found on a trainer and jogging bottoms seized from Ali.

Detective chief Inspector Dave Whellams who led the investigation said: “The death of Abiola Akerele is another example of the futility of carrying knives and the disastrous consequences of what can happen when violence escalates.

“It has never been fully established why this incident escalated so dramatically but Abiola suffered fatal injuries in the attack.

“Sulaiman and Ali must now pay the consequences for their actions which will entail a significant period of time in jail. While this in no way can compensate Abiola’s family and friends for their loss, I do hope it gives them some sense that justice has been served.”

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