Some brutal murderers, a paedophile scout leader and hapless burglars were all jailed in our county during October and at the very end of September. All information on the cases comes from either Sussex Police or our reporters attending court in person.
On October 21, Italian kitchen porter Francesco D'Agostino, 45, of Stafford Road in Brighton, was found guilty of killing 21-year-old Serxhio Marku in a 'brutally sustained attack'. Serxhio was found seriously injured in a flat in Stafford Road in the early hours of September 11, 2019 and was pronounced dead shortly after. He suffered multiple blunt force and incised wounds. D'Agostino was jailed for life, with a minimum sentence of 22 years. At the sentencing on October 22, Judge Christine Laing QC said: "Serxhio was murdered in a savage act, in a brutally sustained attack. The truth is easily illustrated by the victim's last words heard by neighbours - 'Why are you doing this?' - satisfying me that this was an unprovoked attack."
Bungling burglars Aurelian Gheorghe, of no fixed address, and Andri Metea, of Winchester Avenue, London, were jailed for a total of four years after breaking into Hove Currys PC World and failing to steal anything. Police were alerted to a break-in at the Old Shoreham Road store at around 4am on August 2 and arrived to find a large hole at the back of the premises. Damage was also caused to stock rooms where the pair tried to gain access, but they fled the scene empty handed. An Audi was stopped on the A23 north of Brighton and Gheorghe, 41, and Metea, 22, were found to be wearing the same clothes as those seen at the break-in and had a drill, several bags, gloves and a head torch in the car. Both were sentenced to 24 months in prison at Lewes Crown Court, on October 9, for burglary with intent to steal.
Charles Ogunnowo, of Coldharbour Lane in Brixton, was jailed for two years and eight months after pleading guilty to dealing class A drugs in Brighton. Ogunnowo, 27, was stopped on October 8, 2019, after plain clothes police officers saw a suspected drug deal in Western Road. He was searched and had a significant amount of heroin and crack cocaine on him, after which more drugs and cash were found at his hotel room. He was charged with possession of crack cocaine with intent to supply, possession of heroin with intent to supply and possession of criminal property and sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on October 19.
Richard Canlin, 41, was jailed for 22 years for the 'brutal' murder of a vulnerable woman in Lewes, whose body was dumped in a wheelie bin on a Lewes recreation ground. Canlin had been living in Nicola Stevenson's Stansfield Road flat before bludgeoning her to death with a claw hammer on October 10, 2019. Nicola's body was discovered in a wheelie bin, in shrubbery, on the edge of Landport Recreation Ground on November 13. Police found Canlin at her home, having adopted Nicola's lifestyle, made the property his own and changed the lease and utility bills to his name. He told friends Nicola had gone away to Scotland. Forensic inspections revealed Nicola had been attacked in her home and, despite Canlin's attempts to hide/destroy evidence, blood was found around the property. Hove Crown Court heard Canlin tried to pin the murder on another man, who was later absolved of any involvement. He was jailed after a two-week trial.
Unemployed Harry Avis, of Swanborough Drive in Brighton, was jailed for three years and four months for a knife-point robbery in Brighton. The 22-year-old pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a bladed article after a man was robbed in Norwich Crescent, Brighton, at around 3.30pm on September 30. Officers quickly located Avis' vehicle at a retail park in Hove and he was arrested the same afternoon with a large knife and items stolen during the robbery. He was jailed at Lewes Crown Court on October 13.
Jack Chambers, of Holtye Avenue in East Grinstead, was jailed for his part in a 'terrifying ordeal' involving an air rifle. The 19-year-old took part in a robbery on Sunday, April 26, in Lewes Road where suspects on a motorbike pulled up alongside their victim at around 12.30am. They threatened him with a long-barrelled weapon, thought to be an air rifle, and demanded he hand over his belongings. Chambers was arrested soon after on suspicion of robbery and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear or violence and, at Lewes Crown Court, pleaded guilty to both. On September 29, he was jailed for three years. Investigator Lauren Chapman said: "This was a terrifying ordeal for the victim who was walking home from work when they were attacked and threatened with a weapon that resembled a gun. Thankfully Chambers was apprehended soon after the incident and put on remand. We're hugely grateful to the local community who came together to provide information that assisted with our investigation."
Former Horsham scout leader Oliver Cooper, 27, was sentenced to six years in prison for offences of voyeurism and sexual assault involving young children at scouting camps he helped to run. Cooper, a student formerly of Kings Drive in Hopton, Staffordshire, was found guilty at Lewes Crown Court on October 15 of two counts of sexual assault on a girl aged six, one counts of sexual assault on a girl also aged six, one count of taking indecent photographs of a child, and 13 counts of voyeurism. He will be on the Sex Offenders Register for life, was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order to last until further court notice severely restricting his access to children, and was disqualified from working with children and vulnerable people for life. The investigation was launched after a child disclosed Cooper had sexually touched her, after which he was arrested and indecent images and videos of children getting undressed in private were found on his phone and laptop. A further child came forward during the investigati
Thirty-three-year-old Morakile Kosi, of Barn Field Terrace in Bexhill, was jailed for more than five and a half years for a sexual offence against a teenage girl in Crawley. On September 28, Kosi pleaded guilty to one count of sexual activity with a girl aged 14 and was sentenced to 67 months in prison. He will also be a registered sex offender for life and was given a sexual harm prevention order severely restricting his access to girls under 16 until further court order. Detective Constable Helen Rainbow said Kosi came to know the 'vulnerable' young girl and 'deliberately arranged a situation in which she was at his mercy, purely for his own gratification'. She praised the 'strength and maturity' of the victim in coming forward.