Killers who used tracker device to ambush victim jailed for 46 years

Two killers, 25, and 26, who used tracker device to ambush a father, 33, before stabbing him to death inside his Mercedes ML250 are jailed for a total of 46 years

  • Harvey MacFoy, 26, and Donald Owusu, 25, knifed bus driver Albert Amofa, 33
  • Mr Amofa was murdered in his car after Owusu fitted a tracker onto the vehicle 
  • London father had a young son, whose mother has been unable to visit his grave
  • Murder committed ‘in the furtherance of a robbery’, judge today concluded

Two killers who attached a tracking device to the underside of their victim’s Mercedes before they knifed him to death have been jailed for at least 46 years.

Harvey MacFoy, 26, and Donald Owusu, 25, and a third unidentified man had planned to abduct bus driver Albert Amofa, 33.

Mr Amofa, who worked as a bus driver based at Beddington Bus Depot in Croydon was rushed to hospital, but died due to blood loss after he was stabbed in the thigh on December 17, 2019.

MacFoy and Owusu pleaded not guilty but were convicted of murder and were given life sentences.

Convicted killer Donald Owusu, 25, said he was told to fit the tracker by a man known as ‘Big S’

Convicted drug dealer MacFoy was jailed for at least 21 years while Owusu, who has previous for knifepoint robberies, was jailed for at least 25 years.

Theo Brown, 32, denied but was convicted of perverting the course of justice by ‘disposing of’ a Peugeot 3008 vehicle used in the attack.

He was locked up for nine months.

Judge Alexia Durran said: ‘Albert Amofa was clearly a beloved son, brother, uncle and father.

‘He had a young son.

‘His mother has struggled to cope with his death and has not visited his grave.’

Turning to the details of his death, the judge went on: ‘The tracker was placed on Mr Amofa’s car in the early hours of 12 December.

Harvey MacFoy, 26, was jailed for 21 years. He has previously been convicted for drug dealing

‘On the evening of 12 December 2019 Mr Amofa and his girlfriend, or former girlfriend, purchased a significant quantity of cannabis.

‘Acquisition of drugs by Mr Amofa was in my judgment the motivation for the attack on him.

‘This was a murder done in the course of furtherance of a robbery and therefore a gain.

‘Those who attacked him in the car intended to take the contents of it.

‘It has been accepted that the intention was that those in the vehicle would cause really serious bodily harm if necessary to achieve the ambition.’

Theo Brown, 32, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice after disposing of a Peugeot 3008 used in the attack. He was locked up for nine months 

To Brown, the judge said: ‘I accept in your case Mr Brown that you had no knowledge of the precise criminal enterprise which the car had been used for.

‘You must have known it was an offence involving a significant degree of violence given the presence of blood in the car.

‘[This] was not committed out of dire financial circumstances, but for a short-term bit of money before Christmas.’

Janika Pownall-Gabriel, ex-wife and mother to Mr Amofa’s son, said the bottom dropped out of her world when her former husband died.

She feared having to explain to their son what had happened to his ‘Daddy’, the court heard in an impact statement.

Ms Pownall-Gabriel said: ‘I was angry at myself that I could not get across London quick enough to see him before he left us and that I didn’t get the chance to tell him not to dare go.

‘I knew that I would never again get to discuss our little Prince with the one person who knew him as well as I do, his Daddy.’

The victim’s brother Rueben Amofa said he hoped the defendants would spend a long time in prison.

‘We hope that boredom eats away at you and makes you regret your actions that night and the pain you caused our brother and our family.

‘You took a life.

‘Losing your freedom for a few years is nothing compared to the loss we have all suffered.

Innocent victim: Albert Amofa, 33, had just dropped off his son with his mother in Croydon

‘If you have any decency, regret or humility, then please do everything in your power to ensure this never happens again.

‘Your families may cry today when you are sentenced, but they know that in a few years’ time, you have the chance to come home and in the mean time they can visit you, see your face, hear your voice, continue to make and share memories with you.

‘My family will never stop crying.’

The killers pulled up in a bronze Peugeot 3008 shortly before Mr Amofa parked his Mercedes ML250 on Drake Road, Croydon, south London.

Mr Amofa had just returned from a two-hour journey across London, after dropping his son off with his mum, but the attackers were able to precisely time his arrival in Drake Road.

John Price, QC, prosecuting, said they were able to ‘intercept’ Mr Amofa and his friend Ria Gudka ‘in the very few minutes after the Mercedes had arrived in Drake Road and before its occupants could get into the safety of Mr Amofa’s house.

‘The police came to suspect that there was a possibility that Mr Amofa’s black Mercedes car might have been fitted with a tracker device which was still functioning on the 18th December 2019.

‘They were right because, when promoted by this realisation, the underside of the car was later examined, such a device was indeed found to have been attached.

Mr Amofo was murdered inside his Mercedes ML250 on Drake Road, Croydon (file image)

‘What’s more, it was still transmitting data as to its location.’

Police traced the device back to a shop called Ben Nevis Clothing in Camden, north London, where it was bought on 29 November 2019 costing £233.80.

Police used GPS and phone data to infer that the killers travelled to Camden together in a black Peugeot.

The tracker is used with a smartphone app that provides detailed information about the movements of the vehicle which it is attached to.

The battery lasts several weeks before it needs to be re-charged.

When the tracker was recovered by police, it was on the highest setting and transmitting data every five seconds.

Mr Price suggested that the device was fixed to the underside of Mr Amofa’s Mercedes on 12 December 2019 by Owusu.

On the evening of the fatal attack, data from the tracker was transmitting the location of the Mercedes every five seconds during Mr Amofa’s round-trip to Northolt.

The pair of murderers were convicted at the Old Bailey in central London (pictured in May)

The alleged killers hired the bronze Peugeot from car hire app GetAround to carry out the attack, according to GPS data from the app as well as CCTV footage.

The vehicle was reported to police as stolen when it was not returned by 21 December 2019.

It was later found on 7 January 2020 in Nottingham locked and street parked and there were blood stains in the interior which matched Mr Amofa’s DNA.

Mr Price said: ‘The evidence gathered by the police during that investigation shows that the abduction or proposed abduction of Albert Amofa was carefully planned and prepared by Donald Owusu and Harvey MacFoy over a period of time.’

‘It seems likely however that the third man was recruited by them to assist, only at the last minute, on that day, the 15th.’

Mr Amofa was knifed five times in the thigh after one of his killers yelled: ‘Where are the keys, where are the f-ing keys’.

He was rushed to St Georges Hospital, Tooting, but died on 17 December 2019 due to blood loss complicated by sickle cell anaemia which led to multiple organ failure.

A post-mortem examination identified five stab wounds to the left thigh, the most serious of which had penetrated the femoral vein which led to substantial blood loss.

MacFoy, of Beachborough Road, Bromley, and Owusu, of Sylvan Hill, Upper Norwood, both denied but were convicted of murder.

They were jailed for life with a minimum of 21 and 25 years respectively.

MacFoy admitted perverting the course of justice, between 16 and 25 December 2019, in respect of the Peugeot.

He was given a 20 month prison sentence concurrent to his jail time for murder.

Brown, of Wallington, south London, denied but was convicted of perverting the course of justice.

He has been locked up for nine months.

The third man alleged to be involved in the killing has not been identified by police.

Detective Sergeant Quinn Cutler, a homicide detective from the Met’s Specialist Crime who led the investigation, said: ‘Our goal as an investigative team was to gain an overwhelming chain of evidence to ensure convictions and strong sentences against these callous criminals.

‘We worked tirelessly to understand what happened to Albert and identify those responsible. In doing so two very dangerous and callous drug dealing criminals have been put behind bars.

‘Our thoughts throughout this investigation have been with Albert’s loved ones who have suffered such an unimaginably sad loss.’

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