Published: 06:00, 08 December 2019
A teen stabbed his victim in the heart before his accomplice stashed the knife and tried terrifying a witness into silence.
Lemuel Lee was found guilty of wounding with intent after knifing Stephen Plumb twice inside his Gravesend flat.
The jury cleared the 19-year-old of attempted murder, the more serious charge.
His brother Meshak Noel, 26, was also convicted of intimidating a witness and perverting the course of justice, after a week long trial at Canterbury Crown Court.
Prosecutors argued Lee stabbed Mr Plumb in the stomach and chest with a kitchen knife, and then Noel tried hiding the weapon to cover his brother’s tracks.
Mr Plumb was treated for life-threatening wounds to the heart and abdomen at a London hospital after the attack at his Gravesham Court flat.
Prosecutor Simon Taylor explained trouble erupted after drug dealer Noel agreed to supply Mr Plumb and Keely Whittington on June 21.
During a binge, Lee knifed Mr Plumb in a row over a phone charger, Mr Taylor explained.
The suspects fled, leaving Miss Whittington and friend Tony Hoadley to call 999.
As Mr Plumb bled profusely, the suspects hid the knife alongside an ornamental sword nearby. Both blades were obtained from Mr Plumb's address, the court heard.
The suspects then caught a cab to Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, where Noel was treated for a wound to his hand. He would later tell the jury the cut was caused in self-defence.
The court heard the pair were arrested at their Croydon home the next day, they both gave no no comment interviews.
Lee was remanded for attempted murder and Noel was released on conditional bail for assaulting Miss Whittington, allowing him to continue his reign terror.
Despite being ordered not to contact the witness he threw her around an alleyway and broke into her home to leave a chilling letter.
Mr Taylor explained: “This note was later located (in her home and seized by police). It says ‘Make sure you don’t speak, snitches get stitches Keely’."
Lee, represented by Jonathan Rosen, claimed he was acting in self-defence when Mr Plumb became injured.
Noel, represented by Steven Attridge, denied assault, perverting the course of justice and intimidating a witness.
But a jury took almost 10 hours to acquit Lee of attempted murder and convict him by majority of wounding with intent.
Lee was cleared of assault and convicted by majority of perverting the course of justice and intimidating a witness.
Both defendants sat hunched and expressionless in the dock, focusing ahead as the verdicts were read.
Judge Simon James told the court the duo will face “Significant custodial sentence”.
“You have been convicted of serious criminal offences,” he told the brothers.
They will be sentenced at the same court on February 24.
Meanwhile the Probation Service will prepare a report on Lee’s ‘dangerousness’, to determine whether an extended sentence is warranted.
More by this authorSean Axtell