Life for Islington drug dealers who murdered dad out walking his dog

TWO cannabis dealers who ambushed and killed a father-of-two in the street during a drugs feud were jailed for at least 19 years each today (Thursday).

Julian Edwards, 21, of Aubert Road, Highbury, and driver Mustafa Demirtas, 21, of Errol Street, Finsbury, targeted Michael McCarthy, 19, after spotting him walking his dog.

They pulled up in a car to confront him before Edwards stabbed him seven times, including a fatal wound to the heart.

The killers then drove off over the victim’s body as he lay bleeding to death in the street in Yoakley Road, Stoke Newington.

Both Edwards and Demirtas were convicted of murder after blamed each other for the killing on November 19 last year.

Passing sentence, Judge Peter Thornton QC said: “I am quite satisfied this was a pre-planned expedition, a planned execution or something close to it.

“The two of you set out to take revenge.”

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The judge said Demirtas acted as a decoy and engaged the victim in conversation before hood-wearing Edwards lunged at him with the blade.

“You stabbed him seven times, with considerable force,” the judge said.

“One stab wound penetrated the skull to the brain, another penetrated his heart. It was quick and deadly.

“After you returned to the car with the planned job done, you Demirtas, knowing precisely where the deceased lay, deliberately drove over his body before driving off at speed leaving him dying in the road.

“I find you are jointly responsible for the crime and are both equally culpable.”

The judge added: “Although Michael McCarthy was no angel, to use his mother’s words, he did not deserve to die - he was only 19.

“Your actions have taken him from his parents, his young children and friends and family who loved him.

“It is a lesson to be learnt, that getting involved in drug dealing, even if only cannabis, can get you caught up in violence and even death.”

The Old Bailey heard Mr McCarthy was attacked in revenge for abducting and torturing Edwards’ associate Christopher Ward six weeks earlier. On October 6, 2009, a gang of masked men grabbed Mr Ward from the street and took him to McCarthy’s home in Lister Court, off Yoakley Road.

He was beaten up, asked to reveal the location of drugs and money and questioned about the whereabouts of “Jay” - Julian Edwards.

He spent four days in hospital after the attack and later told Edwards what had happened and pointed out the flat.

Another associate of Edwards told Mr Ward: “Don’t tell the Old Bill, we will sort it out”.

A few weeks before his death, McCarthy confided in his cousin Susan Glover that his life was in danger.

She said: “He told me that he and some friends held up some guy for money and drugs.

“Basically the people he held up found out it was him and he was in trouble.’

Edwards and Demirtas both denied murder.