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Killer who stabbed cannabis dealer to death less than two hours after starting community service is jailed for 23 years
Reardon Emanuel, 20, convicted of murder by a jury after a trial at the Old BaileyEmanuel attacked 36 year-old O’Neil Irwin, brutally stabbing him and chasing him down the street on his bicycle
Incident happened less than two hours after Emanuel finished unpaid work in the community
21:05 GMT, 14 December 2012
Victim: O'Neil Irwin left a trail of blood down the street before bleeding to death
A killer who stabbed a cannabis dealer to death less than two hours after carrying out unpaid work in the community was jailed for at least 25 years today.
Reardon Emanuel, 20, attacked 36 year-old O’Neil Irwin while under the supervision of the Probation Service for having an offensive weapon in public.
Emanuel, who had arranged to meet Mr Irwin to buy drugs, was spotted chasing the fatally wounded victim down the road before fleeing on his bicycle.
Mr Irwin left a trail of blood as he fled before collapsing in front of two police officers who happened to be on patrol in their van.
He was able to gesture down the street and give a brief description of his killer before bleeding to death at the scene in Forest Road, Walthamstow, east London.
When Emanuel was arrested two days later detectives found the victim’s blood on the handlebar of his bicycle.
Mobile phone records also showed he had called Mr Irwin three times in the 90 minutes before the murder.
Emanuel was convicted of murder by a jury after a trial at the Old Bailey.
Judge Paul Worsley QC sentenced him to life imprisonment with a minimum of 25 hours before parole.
The judge told him: ‘He did not deserve to die at your hands in the street.’
Mr Irwin, who lived in Winsbeach, Walthamstow, came to the UK from Jamaica in 2002 and earned money by selling cannabis.
On May 21 this year he carried out several deals before being phoned by Emmanuel at 3.32pm.
Emanuel, who was doing unpaid work in the community between 9.15am and 3.15pm that day, contacted Mr Irwin for a third and final time at 4.56pm.
A few minutes later a woman living in Ulverston Road saw the victim being chased up towards the junction with Forest Road.
Zoe Johnson, prosecuting, told the court: ‘The two men met to carry out some sort of drug deal. Something went terribly wrong. For whatever reason the defendant attacked the deceased and stabbed him several times including once in the back.
‘The deceased tried to flee but the defendant chased him until he collapsed and died.’
Moments later Emmanuel returned to pick up his bicycle and rode off.
Mr Irwin had been stabbed four times in the chest and once in the back and died from a wound to his left ventricle.
Detectives found a wrap containing 14g of cocaine and another wrap containing just over 7g of heroin on his body.
The court heard Emanuel was under the supervision of the Probation service following a conviction for having an offensive weapon in public.
Emanuel denied murder but was convicted.