Vaso Kakko murder: 21 years behind bars for Holloway drug dealer who stabbed teen in neck

Uche Ejimonye. Picture: Metropolitan Police

Uche Ejimonye. Picture: Metropolitan Police - Credit: Archant

The cannabis dealer who murdered Vaso Kakko by stabbing him in the neck was today given a life prison sentence.

Vaso Kakko

Vaso Kakko - Credit: Archant

Uche Ejimonye, 20, was yesterday found guilty by a jury of 17-year-old Vaso’s murder in Yoke Close, Holloway, on November 23 last year. It was alleged during his trial the killing was the final chapter of a feud that began when Vaso insulted Ejimonye’s haircut.

At his Old Bailey sentencing this afternoon, Ejimonye, of Roth Walk, Holloway, showed no emotion as judge Wendy Joseph passed the sentence. He must serve a minimum 21 years before he can apply for parole.

Ejimonye, wearing a grey Nike jumper and glasses, watched on in the dock as Judge Joseph described how his life went off the rails last year.

“He had completed his schooling and took a course in accounting,” she said, “but dropped out and throughout 2015 was neither in education or work. He was making his living dealing cannabis.

Police at the scene of Vaso's killing (Picture: Ken Mears)

Police at the scene of Vaso's killing (Picture: Ken Mears) - Credit: Archant

“This led to him mixing with others in a similar world, including Vaso Kakko.

“To understand how Vaso died, we must go back to January 2015. He [Ejimonye] was victim of a knife assault unrelated to this case. On his own account, he walked around on a daily basis with a kitchen knife. On more than one occasion he produced it.

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“He seemed to think it was all fine because it was only produced in situations of grave danger. This conduct is not fine.”

During the trial this month, the court heard how Vaso, of Newington Green, had come to blows with Ejimonye a month before the fatal stabbing.

Police at the scene of Vaso's killing (Picture: Ken Mears)

Police at the scene of Vaso's killing (Picture: Ken Mears) - Credit: Archant

“He [Ejimonye] constantly went to estates where situations arose. He repeatedly came into contact with Vaso Kakko and things took a serious downturn on October 16.

“The defendant clams, though not confirmed by any witness, that Vaso produced a Taser. It seems the defendant pulled out a knife and Vaso himself went to find a knife, which he used to stab him in the leg.

“There seems to have been an uneasy truce between them. I accept the defendant didn’t plan the attack but he knew, going into the [Shearling Way Estate] area that night, Vaso would be there.

“When three of the accomplices went off, the defendant and Vaso Kakko were left alone. In the seconds that followed, I am quite confident Ejimonye jumped from a wall he was sitting on, ran and stabbed him from behind.”

Police at the scene of Vaso's killing (Picture: Ken Mears)

Police at the scene of Vaso's killing (Picture: Ken Mears) - Credit: Archant

Vaso suffered a 9cm wound in his back, but the fatal blow was a 6cm gash to his neck.

The court heard how only one of the three accomplices, who cannot be named for legal reasons, tried to save Vaso once they realised what had happened. Judge Joseph said he has since made steps to turn his life around, and has been awarded £500 for his bravery.

Vaso’s injuries, however, meant “he was beyond anyone’s help”. Ejimonye, meanwhile, fled London but was arrested in Bognor Regis.

Judge Joseph, who praised Vaso’s family for their dignified conduct throughout the case, concluded: “The impact is profound and permanent. The family is unable to come to terms with this loss of life.”