‘Honeytrap’ murder gang member to be freed from prison

·2-min read

A member of a gang who lured a teenager to his death with a “honeytrap” could walk free from prison within weeks after he was cleared for release by the Parole Board.

Samantha Joseph led lovestruck Shakilus Townsend into an ambush where he was beaten with baseball bats and stabbed six times by a masked and hooded gang in Thornton Heath, south London, in 2008.

The attack, which had been orchestrated by Joseph’s jealous ex-boyfriend Danny McLean, saw her, McLean and five others – including Andre Thompson – handed life sentences a year later after being found guilty of the 16-year-old’s murder.

Thompson, who was 17 at the time and from Norwood, south east London, was given a minimum 14-year prison term which was later reduced to 13 years and three months. The Parole Board said on Tuesday that he was “suitable” for release from prison.

A document setting out the decision said: “After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and the evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was satisfied that Mr Thompson was suitable for release.”

The papers described how Thompson, at the time of his crimes, had a “willingness to involve himself in violent behaviour” but during his sentence had taken part in courses to address this.

Now aged 30, this was Thompson’s second parole review. He had been moved to an open prison in 2019 but was recalled to a closed prison a year later after being arrested and convicted for driving offences.

He had since “behaved well” in prison and officials who took part in his review recommended he be released, the report added.

Thompson will be subject to restrictions on his movements and will have to adhere to a curfew, among other licence conditions.