15-Year-Old From Putney Found Guilty Of Fatal Stabbing

Convicted of killing and robbing cannabis dealer in Chelsea


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A 15-year-old boy from Putney has been found guilty of killing Mark Fontaine in Chelsea last year.

He was convicted this Tuesday (19 March) at a trial at the Old Bailey of manslaughter and conspiracy to rob in relation to the fatal stabbing which took place in May 2018 when he was just 14.

Mark Fontaine

Two 18-year-olds, Adesina Fashina from Hendon and Christian Murphy from West Kensington, who were present at the time were convicted of conspiracy to rob but acquitted of manslaughter. All three will be sentenced at the same court on a date to be confirmed.

The court heard how Fashina had contacted the victim, 41-year-old Mark Fontaine, on 27 May 2018 to buy cannabis from him. Mr Fontaine agreed to meet Fashina at a location in Finchley and drove there with a friend. On their arrival, Fashina got into the car and then after a short discussion he and Mr Fontaine exited and began to walk towards an address Fashina said he lived at nearby to weigh the drugs.

Later that evening an argument occurred when it was discovered that Fashina had left his phone on the passenger seat. Shortly afterwards Fashina rang the phone and Mr Fontaine answered. Fashina asked for the phone to be returned but Mr Fontaine refused. Several more calls were made to him that evening, including one in which he was threatened, but Mr Fontaine still refused to return the phone.

On 30 May Mr Fontaine received a call from an unknown male enquiring about buying cannabis. After arranging a price and a venue for the transaction, Mark drove to Finborough Road, SW10 to meet the buyer shortly before 10pm.

However, he was completely unaware that the call had been set up by Fashina who, along with Murphy and the youth from Putney, were lying in wait for him. As he sat in his car in Finborough Road, he was attacked by the younger boy, sustaining seven separate stab injuries in the process. He managed to stagger from his car but collapsed a short distance away in Cathcart Road, SW10. Following the attack the three assailants fled the scene.

Despite the efforts of paramedics, Mr Fontaine could not be saved - he died in the street at around 11pm.

The youth who attacked him had sustained a stab injury to his right arm during the attack and a blood trail from the scene towards Tregunter Road forensically linked him to the scene. He subsequently attended hospital for treatment to his injury; police were called and he was arrested. Detectives began to investigate the background to Mr Fontaine's murder and the story about the failed robbery and the phone being left in his car came to light.

Analysis of Mr Fontaine's phone established the contact between him and Fashina on 27 May - including Fashina's subsequent attempts using a different number to convince Mr Fontaine to return his phone. This additional phone attributed to Fashina was also in use on 30 May - the day of the attack.
Further analysis confirmed that on that day, Fashina, Murphy and the boy were all together in the area of Finborough Road, SW10 at the time of the killing. Witnesses and CCTV analysis also placed two males, fitting the description of Fashina and Murphy, leaving the scene following the attack.

Murphy is also known to have made calls to two mini-cab firms to try and book a cab from West Brompton to the Putney area - phone analysis links both Murphy and Fashina to travelling in a cab from the scene to southwest London. Both Fashina and Murphy were subsequently arrested and charged in May 2018.

Detective Inspector James Howarth of the Homicide and Major Crime Command said, 'The nature of this calculated, pre-meditated attack is truly shocking and vastly out of proportion to the relatively trivial event that sparked it.

'Fashina involved Murphy and a teenage associate to lure Mark to the location with the sole intention of robbing him that resulted in Mark receiving his fatal injuries.

'Mark could not survive the attack and the three fled the scene leaving a man to die in the street.

'I would like these convictions to bring some form of closure to the family who have supported the police throughout this investigation.

'Also the valiant efforts that members of the public made to help Mark following the attack should not be forgotten. Their efforts will always be appreciated and though the impact on them has been traumatic, I hope these convictions go some way to assuage that."

March 21, 2019

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