HE MAINTAINED his innocence to his jail cell, but a British judge said he was a “cold-blooded murderer” as he jailed him for a minimum 26 years.
Zimbabwean David Nyamupfukudza, 19, was retried for the 2010 killing of Nigerian Sylvester Akapalara, 17, in Peckham, London, after the original trial jury could not agree on a verdict.
Defiant to the end, Nyamufukudza shouted out after his sentence at the Old Bailey: "I just hope you know you prosecuted an innocent man. God will see me out of this."
"Amen my son," cried a supporter from the public gallery.
Akapalara was found by police in a fourth floor stairwell in a block of flats in Peckham suffering from gunshot wounds and pronounced dead at the scene.
He had been shot in the chest and neck. Two of his friends, who were with him, were stabbed as they tried to force their way through the main door of the block of flats, which was guarded by part of the group of youths.
Neither Sylvester, who was a member of Herne Hill athletics club, or his two friends lived on the estate.
Prosecutors charged a total of seven men – but five were cleared.
Sodiq Adeojo, 19, of of Shurland Gardens, Peckham, was jailed for 30 years in February after being found guilty at the Old Bailey of his murder. He was also found guilty of two counts of attempted murder, and having a knife and a gun.
His brother Qudus Adeojo, 18, and a 16-year-old youth, were cleared by the jury of all charges.
Kenny Imafidon, 18, from Bishop Wilfred Wood Close, Peckham, was found not guilty on the directions of the judge.
Brothers aged 16 and 17 were cleared of hiding the gun used in the murder.
Nyamupfukudza, from Hunsdon Road, New Cross, was ordered to be retried after the jury could not agree verdicts.
At his retrial in May this year, the Old Bailey heard that though nobody could be sure who fired the shot that killed Sylvester, Nyamupfukudza had pointed a gun at the athlete's fleeing friend.
The boy's life was only saved when the gun jammed, but he was still chased and, along with another pal, was stabbed as they desperately tried to escape.
Sentencing Nyamupfukudza to life for murder, Judge Timothy Pontius said the dead teenager had been just one of many victims of "mindless and appalling violence simply because of their membership or perceived membership of an opposing gang."
He said: "Now yet another mother and an adopted family have been left distraught by the violent and tragic slaughter of a teenage son."
The judge said Nyamupfukudza had been a willing participant in an act of "cold blooded murder".
Nyamupfukudza was told he must serve a minimum of 26 years and was also given a concurrent sentence of 20 years for attempted murder.
In an impact statement read out in court, Natalie Williams, whose mum fostered Sylvester, said the murder had left a "massive void" in their lives.
She said: "We'll miss Sylvester deeply but know he's gone to a better place and is sitting with the angels.
"He was a great young man who never got the chance to fulfil his dreams."