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Killers jailed for 54 years over ‘quick and ruthless’ attack

Old Bailey is told how members of the public came out of a nearby pub in an attempt to intervene when Jhon Berhane and Dillon Zambon cornered and killed Nashon Esbrand

29 June, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Jhon Berhane, left, and Dillon Zambon, right, will each serve 21 years behind bars

THREE youths who cornered and killed a new father were jailed for a total of 54 years on Monday.

A jury at the Old Bailey had earlier found Jhon Berhane, 18, Dillon Zambon, 20, and a 16-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, guilty of murdering Nashon Esbrand, from Canonbury, after a two-week long trial in March.

At the sentencing hearing this week, Berhane and Zambon each received 21 years in custody. The 16-year-old was given a 12-year term behind bars.

Although it was the 16-year-old who stabbed Mr Esbrand to death, the other two youths were found guilty of murder based on joint enterprise.

In her sentencing remarks, Judge Anuja Dhir said Mr Esbrand’s murder was “a co-ordinated, brazen attack, the final part of which was quick and ruthless”.

“Members of the public had come out of a nearby public house and tried to intervene,” she told the youths.

“Residents in the street had also heard what was going on. But you, as a group acting together with a common purpose and a common target, on bicycles, which meant that you could, and did, arrive and leave at speed, and were so professional and coordinated that, despite their bravery, they could not stop you.

“I am sure that the events of that evening will live with them for the rest of their lives.”

The judge spoke of the impact the murder had on Mr Esbrand’s family, especially his mother Princess.

She said: “He was murdered on the street where she [Princess] lives. Not surprisingly, she no longer wants to live on that street. The words which he spoke after the attack, before losing conciousness, ‘Don’t let my mum see me’, haunt her.”

The court heard how Mr Esbrand had just said goodbye to his partner and new-born baby girl, Milla, on August 24 last year when he was spotted by a gang member who bore a grudge against the 27-year-old.

The gang member called for “reinforce­ments” and Mr Esbrand was chased by five youths on push bikes along Essex Road until he was cornered in Mitchison Road.

One of the five has not been identified through CCTV footage while the prosecution says the other youth is Jack Stevens. He is wanted by police and is believed to be hiding abroad.

The 16-year-old, who was aged just 15 at the time of the attack, pleaded guilty to murder on the first day of the trial. He produced a handwritten note to the judge on Monday expressing his remorse.

Zambon and Berhane denied murder but a jury found them guilty on March 26.

The sentencing had been repeatedly delayed, causing distress to Mr Esbrand’s family. Zambon said he was too “ill” to attend last week and the hearing was delayed until this week when he failed to appear again. Judge Dhir went ahead with the sentencing after deciding Zambon had “voluntarily abstained”.

It can be revealed for the first time this week that Zambon had been part of a group of six youths who robbed a jewellery shop in Norfolk in August 2015.

He was aged just 17 at the time of the raid, which saw the men use sledgehammers and pick-axes to smash their way into the shop after travelling to East Anglia from London. He was sentenced to three years in a young offenders’ institute for his part in the robbery.

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