Westcliff stab death: Two guilty of killing man in drugs theft attempt

Image source, Essex Police
Image caption,
Leon Wright, left, and Wesley Hendrickson were convicted of murder

Two men have been found guilty of murdering a man in Essex after breaking into a property to steal cannabis which was being grown inside.

Asqeri Spaho, 25, from Westcliff-on-Sea, died at a property in Tintern Avenue, in the town, on 12 December 2019. A second man was injured.

Leon Wright, 32, and Wesley Hendrickson, 32, who had denied murder, were convicted at Basildon Crown Court.

Four other men were convicted of aggravated burglary.

The group - Wright, Hendrickson, Mitchell Harris, Scott Heaney, Brian Kinloch and Durald Sokoli - had met in London with a plan to burgle the property.

They armed themselves and travelled to Southend-on-Sea before going to Tintern Avenue and breaking into the address through a bathroom window at the back of the property.

Image source, Google Maps
Image caption,
Police were called to Tintern Avenue, Westcliff-on-Sea on 12 December

Two people inside were stabbed, including Mr Spaho, who was fatally injured and pronounced dead by emergency services at the scene.

Officers also found cannabis being grown in two rooms and the loft.

Det Insp Greg Wood, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "These men devised a plan to break into the address and steal the drugs being grown inside.

"The fact they armed themselves with weapons indicates they were prepared to use violence and once inside Wright and Hendrickson violently assaulted the two men they found there, leaving Asqeri Spaho to die.

"This is a dangerous group of men who are now facing a significant amount of time in prison."

Wright, of Highbury New Park, London, was found guilty of attempted murder, which he denied, and pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary.

Hendrickson, of Ashford Crescent, Enfield, who denied all charges, was found guilty of attempted murder and aggravated burglary.

Sokoli, 28, of Ayley Croft, Enfield, Kinloch, 32, of Beachcroft Way, London, Heaney, 23, of Hurlock Street, London, and Harris, 29, of no known address, were cleared of murder, manslaughter and attempted murder charges.

They will be sentenced on Friday.

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