‘I’m consumed with grief’: Mother of Islington murder victim says her life has been destroyed

Victim Imani Allaway-Muir (Metropolitan Police)
Victim Imani Allaway-Muir (Metropolitan Police)

The mother of a young man shot dead by drug dealers in a case of mistaken identity over the robbery of a Rolex watch said her family has been “destroyed” by the murder, as her son’s killers await sentencing.

Imani Allaway-Muir, 22, was stood near to a children’s playground in Islington when he was shot repeatedly in a hail of bullets on July 4, 2020.

The shooting followed the robbery of 35-year-old drug dealer Demetrios Kyriacou of personal items including his phone and a Rolex watch.

Kyriacou recruited associates including Nathaniel Reece, 41, to hunt down the thief, and it was Reece who was seen angrily firing 14 times in Mr Allaway Muir’s direction.

However the Old Bailey heard Mr Allaway-Muir had nothing to do with the mugging, and had coincidentally arrived at the spot on the Westbourne estate where Kyriacou’s ‘find-my-phone’ app had led the killers.

Demetrios Kyriacou was found guilty of murder (Metropolitan Police)
Demetrios Kyriacou was found guilty of murder (Metropolitan Police)

His mother, Keetha Allaway, fought back tears at the sentencing hearing as she described the impact of the shooting on her family, including on her son’s four younger siblings.

“The day all of you took Imani, you not only destroyed his life but that of my other children”, she said, turning to the men in the dock.

“My children lost their brother but have also lost me, their mum. They are having to adjust to a new mum.

“I was once filled with such happiness and joy, I loved life with my children. Now, I can barely leave my house. I’m consumed with grief and sadness.”

She said her “beautiful” son had special needs and was a “young man who had done no wrong”.

“He was innocent, he had no knowledge of any robbery that had taken place”, she said.

Nathaniel Reece admitted murder (Metropolitan Police)
Nathaniel Reece admitted murder (Metropolitan Police)

“My heart is shattered, my son should be here. Imani loved life so much, his family meant everything to him.”

Mrs Allaway added that she had seen no remorse from the killers during an 11-week trial, in which she was forced to endure graphic evidence of the shooting and attempts by some of the defendants to deflect blame.

Kyriacou was found guilty of murder by a jury, while Reece pleaded guilty on the second day of the trial before any evidence had been called.

James Nicholson, 36, Matthew Hardy, 35, and Darren Dredge, 40, were all found guilty of manslaughter after travelling to the estate on the day of the shooting with Kyriacou and Reece.

Prosecutor Jacob Hallam KC said the mugging of Kyriacou happened about 12.50pm - around two and a half hours before Mr Allaway-Muir was shot dead.

“The murder was as a direct consequence, and in revenge for, a robbery of Mr Kyriacou”, he said.

 (Metropolitan Police)
(Metropolitan Police)

Mr Hallam said Kyriacou recruited associates to try to hunt down the thieves, leading them to the playground.

“One of the people in the playground described seeing the arrival of Mr Reece, saying he looked angry and in his right hand he was holding a gun.”

After the shooting, Reece was heard saying “I should have smoked him….I should have finished him”, the court heard.

He has also admitted affray and possession of a knife after an altercation in prison with prison guards, when he told them: “Back up before I stab you”.

Kyriacou admitted supplying class A and B drugs, while Dredge also admitted dealing class B drugs.

The Common Serjeant of London, Judge Richard Marks KC, is due to sentence Kyriacou, of Liverpool Road, Islington, Reece, of Southgate Road, Islington, Hardy, of Six Acres Estate, Islington, and Dredge, of no fixed address, later today.

Nicholson, of no fixed address, will be sentenced at a later date.