Drug dealers get life for Battersea execution
Two drug-dealers who shot a man and recruited someone else to blow his flat up have been given life sentences.
Andre Johnson, 24, and Colliston Edwards, 38, of no fixed address, were sent to prison for 65 years between them for the murder of Leroy Burnett.
Max Walter, 21, also of no fixed address was given eight years behind bars for blowing up Mr Burnett’s flat using petrol and a concurrent sentence of eight years for perverting the course of justice.
The Old Bailey heard Johnson and Edwards were Class A drug dealers, while Leroy Burnett, 47, was a low-level dealer who sometimes carried out sales for them.
But he smoked some drugs he owed to the pair and paid the price by being shot in his bed at point blank range.
Mr Burnett’s body was found in the wreck of his flat in Crichton Street, Battersea, by firefighters after the blaze on November 12, 2010.
During the trial the court heard Johnson paid Walter £280 and a packet of cigarettes to cover-up the murder.
Miss Rebecca Trowler, mitigating for Walter said: "From the outset he admitted he was wrong in the arson. He was only 19 at the time and is just 21 now.
"He was a young man of immature years, and we have got evidence now that he has matured. He was told that Johnson had killed somebody, he knew what he had done and refused to hide the shotgun."
Sentencing, Judge Richard Dawkins QC, said: "On November 12, 2010, Leroy Burnett was lying on his bed in an end of terrace house. You shot him in there, killing him at point black range, you executed him in fact.
"You jointly recruited Walter to cover it up. Leroy Burnett lay dead and you told Walter what he had to do.
"Arson is always serious, particularly in the cover up of a murder. People were living in the terrace and made their good escape."
The men were expressionless as they were led down to the cells as Mr Burnett’s family cheered from the public gallery.
Judge Dawkins gave Johnson 32 years in prison for murder, while Edwards was sentenced to 33 years.
A sentence of 11 years was given to Johnson for arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered, Edwards got 12, to run conncurrently with their life sentences.
They were also both given nine year concurrent sentences for attempting to pervert the course of justice.