A 20-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy have been found guilty of the murder of Kalabe Legesse who was stabbed to death in a robbery.

Nah’shun Thomas, 20, of Bournemouth Road and a 17-year-old boy both appeared at Croydon Crown Court for trial on Friday, 5 January and were convicted for the murder of Kalabe Legesse.

Both were held in custody and will appear for sentencing on April 19.

On December 30, 2022, at around 8pm, 29-year-old Kalabe from Southwark was sat on a bench in Peckham Rye Park and was approached by the two.

Both males were riding bikes and threatened Kalabe in an attempt to steal his mobile phone.

Kalabe was fatally stabbed once in the chest and later died at the scene.

A post-mortem exam revealed that Kalabe had died from a haemorrhage as a result of the stab wound to the heart.

Kalabe’s family described him as “loved by everyone” and that they could “never understand” why he was murdered simply for his mobile phone.

Before the robbery, Kalabe had been on the phone to a friend, however after emergency services arrived the phone was nowhere to be seen.

Kalabe’s friend told police that he heard the suspects saying “Where are you from?“ and “What have you got on you?”

As part of their investigation, detectives searched through hours of CCTV and by retracing the suspects' movements they were able to identify their home addresses.

Both were arrested on suspicion of murder on January 19, 2023.

Police enquiries found that the males had committed two other mobile phone robberies shortly before Mr Legesse’s murder.

The victims of the two robberies reported that they had intimated they had a knife and asked “Where are you from?’ and ‘What have you got on you?”.

Both pleaded guilty to both of those robberies.

Police conducted a search of the 17-year-old's address and found a sheathed black-handled hunting knife wrapped in a black Puffa jacket found in his grandmother's bedroom.

Forensic examination later found traces of Kalabe Legesse’s blood inside the sheath.

Both were charged on January 21, 2023 and appeared at Croydon Magistrates Court, where they were remanded in custody pending trial.

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Adam Guttridge said: “The defendants were riding around the area, armed with a knife that they were prepared to use to commit violent offences.

“With crime comes accountability and consequences.

“For cruelly and needlessly ending Kalabe Legesse's life, they will have years ahead of them in prison to reflect on their actions and the lives they have destroyed.

“My thoughts today are with Kalabe Legesse’s family as they continue to come to terms with their loss. It is my sincere wish that they find some comfort in knowing that justice has been served.”

A spokesperson for Mr Legesse's family said: "Nothing can bring back our son Kalabe.

“He was doing nothing wrong on the night that he was killed and we will never understand why he was murdered over a mobile phone.

“The defendants have not shown any remorse for what they did to him. We have recently passed the anniversary of his death; Christmas and New Year for us will never be the same again.

“Kalabe was loved by everyone he met and had an exciting future ahead of him.

“He will never be able to have a family of his own, and our family will never have him back.

“We are grateful to the investigation team for their hard work for over a year to bring these people to justice."