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Adrian Murphy: Couple guilty of dancer's 'Devil's breath' drug murder

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image copyrightMet Police
image captionAdrian Murphy's body was discovered in his flat in Battersea on 4 June 2019

A couple have been found guilty of murdering an Irish dancer after meeting him through a gay dating app and poisoning him with an incapacitating drug nicknamed "Devil's breath".

Joel Osei, 25, and his partner, Diana Cristea, 19, used Grindr to befriend men before drugging and robbing them.

They were arrested after the body of Adrian Murphy was found at a 17th-floor flat in Battersea, south-west London, on 4 June.

They will be sentenced in December.

Croydon Crown Court heard paramedics had attended to another man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, several days earlier, who had also been drugged and robbed by Osei.

The pair then used the man's details in a failed bid to buy $80,000 (£62,000) worth of diamonds from a jeweller in New York.

image copyrightMet Police
image captionJoel Osei would steal his victim's possessions before passing them on to Diana Cristea to sell online

Both Osei and Cristea were also accused of one count of administering a poison or noxious substance so as to endanger life, two counts of theft and eight counts of fraud.

The jury returned a majority guilty verdict on all counts for both defendants.

'Drug popular with robbers'

Osei had admitted manslaughter and an alternative charge of administering poison, with intent to injure, aggrieve, or annoy, as well as seven counts of fraud. He denied two counts of theft.

Cristea admitted one count of fraud and two counts of handling stolen goods.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told the court the drug scopolamine was known as Devil's breath in Colombia and is said to be "popular with robbers and rapists" as it allows them to incapacitate their victims.

image copyrightCPS
image captionJoel Osei had drugged and robbed another victim before Adrian Murphy. Osei was captured on CCTV with the victim's belongings

Following the verdict, Robert Murphy paid tribute to his "inspirational" brother, and said his death had "left a huge void" within the family.

"He made so many loyal friends who are so sad at his untimely passing as he was an inspirational Irishman, who was a gifted dancer and choreographer," he said.

"Adrian's legacy is that of a hero and hopefully his tragic death has stopped this happening to any other innocent victim."

Osei, who was previously living at Kerswell Close in Seven Sisters, north London, and Cristea, of Langley Park, Mill Hill, Barnet, north London, will be sentenced on 14 December.

Related Topics

  • Barnet
  • Battersea

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