Jack Stevens jailed for 'barbaric' murder of Nashon Esbrand
PUBLISHED: 15:37 22 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:24 22 March 2019
A Cally gang member who orchestrated the "barbaric" murder of young dad Nashon Esbrand was imprisoned for a minimum of 23 years at the Old Bailey today.
Jack Stevens, of Pultney Street, has been jailed for his role in the “coordinated” pursuit of the 27-year-old that started in Essex Road and ended with him being cornered and stabbed three times from behind in Mitchinson Road, yards from Nashon’s family home, in August 2017.
He died in hospital the following morning.
At an Old Bailey hearing in June, Dillon Zambon, 20 and Jhon Berhane, 18, both got life sentences for their role in Nashon’s murder, while an unnamed 16-year-old boy (Defendant 3), who was 15 at the time of the attack, was handed a minimum of 12 years for landing the fatal stab wound.
Speaking after the sentencing, his brother Mark told the Gazette: “It’s mixed feelings but it’s a relief that they caught him because he was the main ring leader and, with him going to Spain, there was anxiety about whether they would catch him.
“They got him under European Arrest Warrant. I don’t want to be political but I hope Brexit doesn’t stop other people [who flee the UK to European countries] being caught.”
Mark added: “He [Stevens] showed no remorse. He didn’t give a damn about us as victims or even his own family. He was smiling.
“I saw my younger brother crying outside the court. I’ve never seen him cry before.
“So even though he has been sentenced the aftermath will be worse. As the oldest brother I have to be strong and keep holding them.”
The court has heard Stevens, who had history of “animosity” with the victim, was cycling with Zambon when he noticed Nashon walking down Essex Road.
He called Berhane, who was with Defendant 3 and a fifth as yet unidentified accomplice, for “reinforcements”.
They were all on bikes and started chasing Nashon, who had recently become a father.
They cut off his escape routes, eventually entrapping him in Mitchinson Road, where Defendant 3 stabbed him repeatedly with a large rambo knife.
Nashon’s last words were: “Don’t let my mother see me like this.”
A post-mortem examination discovered five knife wounds; Nashon had cuts to his torso and two stab wounds to his legs.
One of the stab wounds to his leg severed an artery; the cause of death given was blood loss from stab wounds.
In her sentencing remarks, judge Anuja Dhir QC today said: “It was a co-ordinated, brazen attack, the final part of which was quick and ruthless.”
She told Stevens: “You were the leader of the group that attacked and killed Nashon Esbrand.
“You bore a grudge against him and Nashon was aware of it. He had spoken to the police, his family and also his doctor about it.”
Stevens told the court he spent the night of the stabbing at a family friend’s house, before moving to another house, outside of London, in another un-named city.
Three to four weeks later he left the UK in the boot of a car travelling to Belgium, from where he journeyed onwards to Spain.
Detectives had identified Stevens as a suspect and obtained a European Arrest Warrant.
On July 9 the National Crime Agency (NCA), working alongside the Spanish authorities, arrested Stevens in Spain.
Det Sg Lee Tullett, of the Met’s murder squad, said: “Stevens thought he would get away with this crime but we never gave up on our efforts to find him and now he must face the consequences of his actions.
“We are pleased that he and the other three males already convicted are now off our streets and we hope this sentence illustrates we will do all we can to prosecute those who are intent on committing such senseless and violent acts.”
The court heard moving victim impact statements from Nashon’s “heartbroken” parents and siblings, who sat through two trials.
Mother-of-five Princess Barton said the death of her youngest child was her “worst nightmare”.
She said: “This stabbing epidemic is rife. This killing must stop.”
Desmond Esbrand said he felt “guilt” at not being able to protect his son, as the last person he spoke to that day.
He said: “Not only do I feel like I failed because I believe that every parent from the day their child is born has a duty to protect and look after them. Due to the fact my son has been murdered, my life has changed too.”
In a note to his newborn daughter, Mr Esbrand wrote: “You are the most beautiful person I have ever seen. I will protect you and watch over you like my mother and father did me. You are my daughter and my world, my conscience and the apple of my eye.”
Chantelle Esbrand described her brother as “very smiley, well-mannered, respectful and he loved life”.
She said: “He had just become a father for the first time. He was ecstatic. His life had just begun.”
Additional reporting by Press Association