Two men found guilty of murder following a fatal stabbing during a drug deal gone wrong have each been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Neville Marlon Bowen, 24, of Breakspears Road, Brockley was ordered to serv at least 27 years in prison and Mohammad Mustapha Khalid, 20, of Well Street, Hackney, will serve a minimum 21 years in custody for the murder of Kyle Bowen in Uxbridge, Hillingdon in May 2017.
They were found guilty of murder at Kingston Crown Court today, Thursday, 8 March following a trial, and sentenced at the same court on Friday, 9 March.
Police were called by the London Ambulance Service just after 1am on Saturday, 6 May 2017 following reports of a man found unconscious in Waterloo Road, Uxbridge.
Officers attended and found a 23-year-old man suffering a number of stab wounds. He was taken to a central London hospital where he died a short while later.
The victim was identified as Kyle Bowen, who lived in the Hayes area. He is not related to defendant Neville Bowen.
During the afternoon and evening of Friday, 5 May Kyle had been socializing with a group of friends after passing his final exams to qualify as an electrician.
Shortly after midnight on Saturday, 6 May Kyle left a friend’s address where he had been watching television and met his close childhood friend outside. They went to Waterloo Road where Kyle’s friend had agreed to meet a dealer he knew as MMK from the Hayes area to buy cannabis.
The pair hatched a plan to ‘rob’ MMK of his cannabis if the situation was right. MMK was later identified as Khalid. Earlier in the evening, Khalid had been in touch with Neville Bowen and asked him to pick him up and take him to Uxbridge for the drugs deal.
Bowen drove to Well Street, E9, to pick up Khalid in his black Ford Focus. They then made their way to Uxbridge, arriving shortly before 01:00hrs.
Kyle and his friend were waiting for MMK alongside a block of maisonettes in Waterloo Road. It was agreed that Kyle would wait by the maisonettes while his friend went to greet Khalid and assessed the situation.
As Kyle’s friend approached Khalid, he noticed that he was accompanied by a ‘stocky’ black male, later identified as Bowen. He spotted a further two black males further along the road.
The friend headed back towards Kyle and tried to tell him the plan was off. However, Kyle, who had not seen the other men, pushed past him and hit MMK who dropped to the floor.
Kyle’s friend then saw Bowen walk towards them and take an item he believed to be a knife from his bag. The friend started to retreat up the stairs as the two other males ran towards him. He ran up the stairs and onto the balcony, where he was not followed.
From the balcony, he saw Kyle in the back garden area being stabbed repeatedly by Bowen in the chest and stomach area. He then saw Khalid attacking Kyle.
The friend went to climb over the balcony to jump down and help Kyle, but he activated a light that illuminated the garden area. Khalid and Bowen stopped attacking Kyle, looked up at the balcony and he ran off.
Thinking they were coming after him, the friend ran along the balcony and back down to street level at the other end of the block. He ran back around to the garden area, but Kyle was no longer there, only blood. He then saw a black Ford Focus with the lights off doing a U-turn. He ran and hid in the nearby recreation ground, where he called his girlfriend to pick him up.
Kyle managed to stagger from the garden where he was attacked and banged on a door saying ‘I’m gonna die.’ He then collapsed and was bleeding heavily from a leg wound. The emergency services were then called.
Kyle had multiple stab injuries including to his leg, arm, chest and neck. Despite the best efforts of medical staff, Kyle was pronounced dead at hospital at 03:05hrs.
Detectives conducted a number of enquiries including reviewing CCTV, which showed a black Ford Focus travelling both ways along Waterloo Road at the relevant times. CCTV also captured the same car in Wells Street picking up Khalid as well as Khalid returning home at about 03:45hrs.
Officers also completed a sweep of the murder scene and found Khalid’s Nike glasses and Bowen’s mobile phone, which he dropped at the scene.
Enquiries carried out on Khalid and Bowen’s phones also linked them at the scene at the time of Kyle’s murder. Khalid and Bowen were arrested on suspicion of murder on 10 May.
Khalid was identified in a line-up by Kyle’s friend as the male he saw assaulting Kyle.
Bowen matched the description of the ‘stocky black male’ who stabbed Kyle and is also the registered keeper of the black Ford Focus that was at the scene. Khalid and Bowen were charged on 12 May.
Detective Inspector Simon Pickford from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, who led the investigation, said: “This was a vicious and deliberate attack which cost Kyle his life. This terrible event has left a young man’s family bereft and struggling to understand why this tragedy happened.
“Khalid and Bowen have shown no remorse for their despicable actions throughout the investigation and trial. I am pleased the jury decided to convict them both after listening to the overwhelming evidence against them, and that a judge has imposed life sentences.
“My thoughts are with Kyle’s family who have conducted themselves with dignity throughout.”
In a statement given after the guilty verdicts, Kyle’s parents Cosmos and Sue-Ellen Bowen said: “Never did I imagine or believe that something like this could ever happen to me or my family. My heart used to go out to other mothers’ sons who were killed in this way. I asked God, what had I done to deserve losing my boy in such a horrific way. Our world was turned upside down and torn apart. We will never be the same again.
“Kyle was loved by all who knew him. He had no enemies and never talked ill of anyone. His murder was all so senseless.
“Kyle was a strong young man who never looked for trouble. He would help, support and defend people in need. He had a heart of gold and never held any grudges. How could we be told that our son, brother, grandson, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend, had been stabbed, had been murdered, when he had just found out earlier that day that after three days of intense exams, he had passed all and was now a fully qualified Electrician. He had plans for his future and everything to live for.
“It has been 10 months since the passing of our Kyle and the pain is yet to fade, it is still so raw and our lives are numb and incomplete.
“Kyle was my pride and joy and my man about the house. He constantly made others smile and he would have been humbled and surprised to know he meant so much to so many and made a huge difference to all of our lives
“As a result of the defendants’ actions they have forced us to relive that traumatic day. The lead up to the trial and having to listen to the content has caused all of us great anxiety, stress and yet more emotional pain. We needed to attend court every day for our Kyle and to hear the facts of the case but as you would appreciate, it has been very difficult for all of us. We would like to thank each and every jury member for having to listen to the awfulness of how our Kyle was murdered, and for reaching what they believe was the right verdict.
“We miss Kyle more than we could ever have thought possible and his death has left an enormous void in our lives. My house is now silent where it used to be full of love and laughter and I long to hear and see Kyle again. Every day I think it will hurt less, it will be easier tomorrow for all of us, but it isn’t. When do the tears stop?”