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Jury in 'drugs war' murder trial told killing in Knightrider Street, Maidstone, was 'cruel and deliberate retribution'

By: Paul Hooper

Published: 13:43, 07 January 2020

Updated: 13:43, 07 January 2020

The jury in a 'drugs war' murder trial have been told the killing was a "cruel and deliberate retribution" in a battle over who controlled supply in Maidstone.

Prosecutor Richard Barraclough QC, in his final speech, said: "You may think that these defendants, all of them, knew that to sell and distribute crack and heroin is a truly awful and despicable thing; that crack creates a dependency and that crack and heroin are dangerous for the vulnerable."

Police stand at the entrance to Chaucer House, Knightrider Street, Maidstone, during a visit from the jury in November

But he urged the jury not to judge the men "on emotion, whether a revulsion against county lines London drug dealers, sympathy for the deceased or sadness for wasted youth."

Kevin Roach, 40, of Peace Close, South Croydon; Alfie Caparn, 18, from Streatham, south London; Rodney Harris, 38, of Mann Close, Croydon; and Julian Grant, 28, of Tull Street, Mitcham have all denied murdering Wesley Adyinka in Knightrider Street, Maidstone, at midnight on February 9 last year and wounding his lover Amanda Francis with intent.

The prosecution case is the murder was "all to do with drug dealing and the expansion of drug dealing territories and the desire for power and control in Maidstone by London drug dealers, " Mr Barraclough told the jury.


The trial, which began in November, has resumed at Maidstone Crown Court following the Christmas and New Year break.

It is alleged the four defendants had returned to Maidstone after one of the gang had been set on days earlier and robbed.

Amanda Francis and Wesley Adyinka

Mr Barraclough said: "There followed a trip by the four, at least one armed with a knife, to discover who set the robbery up.

"They enlisted the help of a man with a criminal record for violence.

"Once they found out who had done it, cruel and deliberate retribution followed."

Read more: Jury visit scene of killing

Read more: Wesley Adyinka stabbed in power battle


Read more: Girlfriend of victim 'refused to leave his side'

The prosecutor has alleged that Roach stabbed Mr Adyinka in the heart before stabbing Francis in the thigh outside Chaucer House.

He added: "The others were part and parcel of the attack by their involvement in arranging it and organising transport to Maidstone.

Officers in Knightrider Street looking for evidence after the killing of Welsey Adyinka

"They also enticed Mr Adyinka and Ms Francis to Chaucer House where he was murdered... after the murder all four drove back to their territory in the London area."

Referring to the alleged driving forces being the killing prosecutor added Grant's attitude to dealing and drug addicts was "devastatingly lacking in any compassion" shown by what he told the jury: "I don't see the point of killing them... as they are killing themselves."

The prosecutor said: "For him and of course for those others involved, the rewards are huge — £1,500 to £2,000 a day.

"That is why Grant has been dealing hard drugs for years and what he says about partying and supplying cocaine to 'happy' people is baloney."

The jury is expected to retire to consider its verdicts later this week.

KMTV report on the case

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