BY TOBY PORTER
A handful of words aimed at the wrong person at the wrong time were enough to spark events that led to the death of doting dad-of-two Luther Edwards.
The 31-year-old from Clapham was beaten and stabbed to death by a group of men after getting into an argument with his girlfriend’s ex.
The row was sparked around the same time he texted her calling her former boyfriend Marlon Thomas “a little boy” and then adding “You are with a man now”.
Police said: “It is believed it was Luther texting a picture of Thomas which sparked the altercation, after Luther insinuated to Marlon Thomas that she was with a better man now.”
Thomas and Stockwell-raised Luther had just met for the first time at a boxing match at York Hall in Bethnal Green on July 29, 2016.
Luther attempted to slip out of the arena. But within minutes, he was dead, in a pool of blood yards away from the venue after being beaten by multiple men.
He was stabbed twice – a knife wound to his heart was what ultimately killed him, a post mortem revealed.
Thomas, 28, of Woodcote Place, West Norwood, was on Wednesday convicted of manslaughter. Jerome Osbourne, 33, from Somerset Avenue, Chessington, who threw the first punch as Luther tried to get through the door – was also found guilty of manslaughter at the Old Bailey in the same seven-week trial. They will be sentenced at the same court on Friday, June 29. Both were acquitted of murder.
No one else has been found guilty of any crime over the incident.
Luther’s shattered family are now left to pick up the pieces from that brutal night.
They were still inside York Hall when he was attacked outside, at the junction of Old Ford Road and Cambridge Heath Road, before he staggered to a BP garage nearby. It was there that he died.
Luther was found collapsed on the forecourt of the petrol station by paramedics and police at 10.35pm.
He was taken by ambulance to an east London hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 11.40pm.
His family have created an organisation to help the parents, siblings and children of murder victims – and that will be Luther’s legacy. His cousin, Angeleen Hill, set it up in his memory, because of the issues and barriers they have faced since he died.
But it gives them little consolation as so few were convicted of having any part in his death.
Luther went to Stockwell Primary School, William Penn School and Stockwell Park School.
He then studied to be a bricklayer at Lambeth College – but decided instead to become a lorry driver.
He was living at Cubitt House on the Oaklands Estate in Clapham when he died.
A statement from the family said: “The Edwards family are in shock at the verdict. Both Jerome and Marlon acted jointly to attack and ultimately kill Luther that night, which they did not do alone.
“There were seven other persons who directly attacked Luther seen on CCTV, yet they still walk the streets of London. The Criminal Justice System is flawed and inconsistent.
“We have seen with our own eyes what they did to Luther. It was a large group of men on one man – how is that fair? We now wait for sentencing at the Old Bailey on June 29.”
Case Officer DS Brett Hagen said: “This investigation was a lengthy and challenging one, but ultimately justice has prevailed. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my team for their painstaking work in reviewing thousands of hours of CCTV footage, which led to the arrest, charge and conviction of the individuals who carried out this savage attack.
“Luther’s family, several of whom were present on the night, have displayed incredible courage and patience throughout the last two years and I hope they can take some solace in the convictions today.”