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Nashon Esbrand murder: Sentencing of Canonbury killers delayed at last minute – after defendant fails to attend

PUBLISHED: 14:54 18 June 2018 | UPDATED: 08:36 27 June 2018

Family and friends of Nashon Esbrand outside the Old Bailey this afternoon, after the sentencing of his three murderers was delayed for a fourth time. Picture: Polly Hancock

Family and friends of Nashon Esbrand outside the Old Bailey this afternoon, after the sentencing of his three murderers was delayed for a fourth time. Picture: Polly Hancock

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Nashon Esbrand’s family has been made to wait a fourth time for justice – after one of his murderers didn’t turn up at the Old Bailey for sentencing today.

Nashon Esbrand was stabbed to death in Mitchison Road, Canonbury, in August last year. Picture: family of Nashon EsbrandNashon Esbrand was stabbed to death in Mitchison Road, Canonbury, in August last year. Picture: family of Nashon Esbrand

Dillon Zambon, 20, was one of three males convicted of Nashon’s murder in Mitchison Road, Canonbury, on August 24 last year. He, alongside Jhon Berhane, 18, and a 16-year-old boy (“Defendant 3”), was meant to be sentenced today.

But Zambon didn’t attend, with the court hearing he was ill. The sentencing could have taken place without him, but judge Anuja Dhir decided to adjourn the case until he is present. It is now set to take place on Monday next week.

Nashon’s brother, Mark, shook his head from the public gallery. His distraught dad, Desmond, had his head in his hands.

It’s the fourth time the sentencing has been delayed. As reported in the Gazette, the previous scheduled dates were April 27, May 14 and May 31. Each time, the hearings were adjourned due to procedural matters in the case.

Speaking to the Gazette outside the court afterwards, Mark said: “It’s very frustrating. I’m just disappointed, again. We had a lot of family members here today.

“But hopefully if he does turn around again and say he’s ill, the judge will go ahead with the sentencing. I would rather just get it done. He didn’t show any remorse when they were found guilty anyway.”

Though the killers weren’t sentenced, the court did hear victim impact statements from Nashon’s family.

As Berhane and Defendant 3 looked on, Nashon’s tearful sister, Mellissa, stood in the dock and said: “Nashon was my youngest brother. I helped raise him from being a baby through to being three or four years old. When I moved to my own home, I still continued to care for Nashon as well as my own family.

“I feel guilty about what happened because I didn’t know what he was going through. I didn’t know he was being targeted by local gangs, and as such couldn’t help him deal with that. He put on a brave face all the time and out of all my siblings he was the most naive. He acted streetwise but he really wasn’t. He needed guidance and I should have been able to provide that to him.”

Family and friends of Nashon Esbrand outside the Old Bailey this afternoon, after the sentencing of his three murderers was delayed for a fourth time. Picture: Polly HancockFamily and friends of Nashon Esbrand outside the Old Bailey this afternoon, after the sentencing of his three murderers was delayed for a fourth time. Picture: Polly Hancock

She continued: “I am also angry. I am angry because the birth of Nashon’s daughter turned his life around. It was a milestone in his life. He wanted all of us in his baby daughter’s life. I was overseas when his daughter was born and Nashon was killed before I had the opportunity to see them together.

“When I look at his daughter, I can see him in her eyes. When I watch, it is a joyful experience because I can see Nashon in her, but it is also painful because he is missing out on that.

“The pain he would have felt, and then having to wait all night in a hotel room – I was in Crete at the time – waiting to find out if my brother had died or not was too much. I didn’t get to see him before he died and I couldn’t even see him once I got back to England.”

Melissa, a teacher, added: “The last time I saw him was about three months before he died, when my mum had a minor heart attack and we took her to hospital. I feel anxious now because I fear the impact on my mum’s health. She has a chronic heart condition. Nashon was her carer. It has put a lot of strain on the family because we have all had to try and fill the void left by Nashon’s departure.”

Nashon, 27, was hunted, cornered and stabbed to death yards from his parents’ house in Mitchison Road. He had become a dad for the first time nine days earlier.

The trial, in March, heard how he was chased by Zambon, Berhane and Defendant 3 – as well as two others who haven’t been found – because he had spoken to police about a previous incident.

Defendant 3, then aged 15, inflicted the fatal stab wounds to the back of Nashon’s legs with a machete-style blade. He admitted murder before the trial started in March.

Zambon and Berhane denied the charge but were convicted by the jury on March 26.

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