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Four convicted of shooting innocent Sainsbury's worker in mistaken identity park killing

|News, Violent crime

Four revenge-seeking friends who shot a 26-year-old Sainsbury’s worker in a case of mistaken identity have been convicted.

Rene Montaque, Karlos Gracia, Alhassan Jalloh and Taalib Rowe shot Kwasi Mensah-Ababio in the head in Monks Park in Wembley. They did so falsely believing he was a rival gang member.

Today (Monday, 23 March) Montaque, 34, Gracia, 22, and Jalloh, 21, were all found guilty of murder after a trial at the Old Bailey. Rowe, 24, was found guilty of manslaughter.

Montaque, Gracia, Jalloh and Rowe had planned the murder to seek revenge after their friend been killed two days before.

On 7 July 2019, the four went out to avenge his death. They had all visited the shrine of their friend or attended a gathering at his home that day and later followed the man they believed to be responsible for their friend’s murder into Monks Park.

Kwasi was sitting on a park bench, opposite another man, enjoying a soft drink after work. When the defendants approached Kwasi, one of them revealed the gun in his bag to the man sat on the opposite bench, who fled.

Moments later Kwasi was shot in the head. He died at the scene.

CCTV and witness accounts led the police to the defendants. When Jalloh was arrested, he said to his mother that he was not going to see her again.

Emma Currie, from the CPS, said: “This was a cold-blooded killing of an innocent young man in a public park.

“Montaque, Gracia, Jalloh and Rowe followed Kwasi into Monks Park with the purpose of exacting revenge for a murder that he had absolutely no involvement in.

“He was a hard-working man and was spending time relaxing in a park after a busy day working at Sainsbury’s - one of his three jobs. He had no gang affiliation and was not known to the police.

“Kwasi however bore a striking resemblance to the man that the defendants were looking for. The four killers callously shot him at close-range in an act of revenge. Kwasi was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Montaque’s sister had warned him not to do anything crazy, but he took it into his own hands to avenge the murder of his friend, with three of his associates. They will all now have to take responsibility for taking the life of an innocent person.

“This was a tragic loss of life but I hope Kwasi’s family and friends take some level of comfort in these convictions.”

Notes to editors

  • Rene Montaque (DOB: 31/12/1984) is from Edgware in the London borough of Harrow
  • Karlos Gracia (DOB: 24/11/1996) is from Stonebridge in the London borough of Brent
  • Alhassan Jalloh (DOB: 09/08/1998) is from Harlesden in the London borough of Brent
  • Taalib Rowe (DOB: 07/10/1994) is from Luton in Bedfordshire
  • Emma Currie is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the Homicide unit in CPS London North.

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