London's courts have been busy this month as judges continue to rattle through a backlog of criminal cases.

Among those jailed in April so far are a drug dealer who killed for a £30 debt.

And a Bromley driver who killed two of her friends while speeding late at night.

Here’s a round-up of some of the high profile cases which have resulted in imprisonment so far this month.

Dedan Simmons 

News Shopper: Dedan SimmonsDedan Simmons (Image: Met Police)

Dedan Simmons, 40, of Clapham Road in Stockwell, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 16 years after he beat a 56-year-old man to death over a £30 debt. 

Victim Shaun McEvoy was described as having a heart of gold but had been battling a drug addiction for years.  

On February 15 last year he was at his flat in Kennington when drug dealer Simmons stormed in shouting “where’s my f***ing money”. 

Simmons attacked Shaun and repeatedly stamped on his chest, inflicting internal injuries which caused him to collapse and die later that day.  

Shaun’s daughter, Carla, said: “I understand drug use. I understand his killer is a drug dealer and he has to make money for his product. I understand he needs to get paid and probably has his own bosses that he needs to pay.  

“But I cannot understand why he did this. It was a brutal act of violence for just £30. My father was not a strong man, he was not a fighting man. This did not need to happen.   

“My father has been taken away from me twice, first by drugs sold by this man, and now by his senseless murder.” 

Read the full story - 'My dad was beaten to death over £30 debt, now my kids won't know their grandpa' 

Amy Legemah 

News Shopper: Amy LegemahAmy Legemah (Image: Newsquest)Amy Legemah, 37, of Attlee Road in Thamesmead, terrorised a shopkeeper in Abbey Wood. 

On February 10 this year she entered the shop to buy some sweets but when her card was declined she became abusive and started throwing sweets on the floor. 

As she continued to abuse the shop worker, he ushered her out of the shop and locked the door.  

While outside the shop she continued to shout, then threw a bottle at the window at the shop window, causing it to smash. 

She was jailed for 10 months. 

Legemah was previously convicted of being in charge of a dangerous dog after her XL Bully attacked a child and her Rottweiler attacked a woman. 

Read the full story - Bereaved XL Bully owner terrorised Abbey Wood shopkeeper after card was declined 

Vinnie Pinkman 

News Shopper: Vinnie PinkmanVinnie Pinkman (Image: Met Police)Vinnie Pinkman, 19, of Restons Crescent in Eltham, “befriended” kids aged six to eight then manipulated them into sending sexual videos.   

He built relationships with children on online video games and chat rooms then made them send extreme sexual images and videos.  

The Met Police worked with Greater Manchester Police and North Wales Police to gather evidence from his young victims.  

Pinkman was subsequently convicted of two counts of sexual communication with a child, two counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 into sexual activity, three counts of possessing extreme pornographic images and one count of possession of a prohibited image. 

He was jailed for seven years. 

Read the full story - Eltham teen ‘befriended’ kids then manipulated them into sending sexual videos 

Ruddy Ewengere and Tre Fraser 

News Shopper: Ruddy Ewengue (left) and Tre Fraser (right) Ruddy Ewengue (left) and Tre Fraser (right) (Image: Thames Valley Police)Ruddy Ewengere, 33, and Tre Fraser, 30, both of Windsor Road in Thornton Heath, have been jailed for over four years after they were caught with £11,000 in drugs and over £7,000 worth of drugs.   

On September 25 last year Met Police officers raided their property on Windsor Road and found Ewengue inside.  

They also found over £11,000 in cash, heroin and crack cocaine of a street value of over £5,000 and a set of scales and a razor blade was recovered. 

On the same day Thames Valley police officers found Fraser inside a property on Oxford Street in Reading.  

A search of the property revealed 171 wraps of crack cocaine and 64 wraps of heroin with a combined street value of around £2,390. 

The pair were sentenced to four years and six months in prison each. 

Read the full story - Thornton Heath dealers caught with £11,000 cash and £7,300 worth of drugs 

Larry Connors 

News Shopper: Larry ConnorsLarry Connors (Image: Cambs Police)Larry Connors, 30, is a prolific burglar who was caught when he left DNA on the window of a home in Sidcup during an unsuccessful raid.   

He broke into homes up and down England stealing cash and jewellery.  

But police managed to track him down after he sloppily left DNA on window frames.  

In November 2021 he broke into a home on Harcourt Avenue in Sidcup.  

He stole nothing, but officers found his DNA on a glove mark on a window frame. 

Then in September 2022 he broke into a home on Shadwell Drive in Northolt, north west London.  

He stole more than £17,000 worth of cash and jewellery, but again his DNA was found on a window.  

As a result of the DNA, police were able to identify Connors as their suspect in these two burglaries, as well as two more in Chester and Cambridge. 

He was jailed for four years and six months. 

Read the full story - Prolific home burglar caught after unsuccessful Sidcup raid 

Jamal Francis, Jarell McKenzie, Gregton Bower and James Rowland 

News Shopper: Four jailed after minicab stopped in Deptford Four jailed after minicab stopped in Deptford (Image: Met Police)

Jamal Francis, Jarell McKenzie, Gregton Bower and James Rowland were jailed after a minicab was stopped in Deptford, leading to police recovering a loaded firearm and three large knives. 

On June 1, 2023, armed police stopped the minicab on Cranbrook Road, Deptford. 

All four passengers in the vehicle attempted to make off from police. 

Jamal Francis, 21, was detained within the vehicle and a large black and orange handled knife was located down the back of his trousers. 

Jarell McKenzie, 20, was detained after a short foot chase. 

He was found to be in possession of a large knife and a bag of cannabis. 

Gregton Bower, 19, ran for quite a distance while being followed by armed police officers. 

While being chased, Bower threw a samurai sword into bushes on Broadway Fields. 

He was eventually detained and arrested on New Butt Lane. Bower also had a bag of cannabis. 

The fourth man managed to get away, however extensive CCTV and forensic lines of enquiry led to the arrest of James Rowland, 21, on June 30. 

A search of the car recovered a loaded firearm in the rear of the vehicle. 

All four defendants were found guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. 

  • Jamal Francis, 21, of Adenmore Road, SE6 was jailed for 16 years 
  • Jarell McKenzie, 20, of Avon Road, SE4 was jailed for nine years 
  • Gregton Bower, 19, of Lewisham Way, SE4 was jailed for 13 years 
  • James Rowland, 21, of Breakspears Road, SE4 was jailed for 14 years

Read the full story - Men caught with gun and knives after armed police chase in south east London

Evan Girdlestone

News Shopper: Evan Girdlestone,Evan Girdlestone, (Image: NCA)

Plumber Evan Girdlestone, 48, from Colliers Wood, converted blank firing guns into lethal weapons has been jailed for seven years and two months. 

He used an industrial unit in Wimbledon as a production line to convert the weapons. 

He became the subject of a National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation in April last year and the following month he was arrested in a car park in Croydon. 

Underneath the passenger seat of his car was was a converted gun with two magazines of ammunition. 

NCA officers then performed a search of his industrial unit and found three more converted guns and four unconverted blank firers. 

They also found 174 rounds of live ammunition, a quantity of spent ammunition and multiple tools used to convert blank firers. 

Adele Okojie-Aidonojie 

News Shopper: Adele Okojie-AidonojieAdele Okojie-Aidonojie (Image: PA)

Adele Okojie-Aidonojie, 23, Edgeborough Way in Bromley, was 11 years for killing a couple who were standing up “twerking” in the back of her convertible moments before it crashed in Battersea.   

She had been drinking alcohol and driving at more than double the speed limit when her Mini Cooper overturned. 

Passengers Rida Boutjettif, 24, and Mary Macharia, 23, were flung from the vehicle and died at the scene while her boyfriend, Ben Sidibe, suffered a fractured arm and a bleed to the brain. 

Following a trial at the Old Bailey, student Okojie-Aidonojie, from Bromley, south London, was found guilty of two charges of causing death by dangerous driving and one of causing injury by dangerous driving. 

On Friday, Judge Richard Marks KC described her conduct as “sheer madness” adding: “Especially moments before the collision, your two passengers to your knowledge had been standing up dancing.” 

He rejected the suggestion that someone in the back had tugged her arm, saying: “It is clear there was one reason and one reason only for this collision, namely the grossly excessive speed you were travelling.” 

The judge also paid tribute to the victims’ families who had been “utterly devastated at the untimely, tragic and needless deaths”. 

Read the full story - Bromley driver who killed couple 'twerking' in back of car jailed 

John Harris Bolton 

News Shopper: John Harris BoltonJohn Harris Bolton (Image: Met Police)

John Harris Bolton, 38, of no fixed address, stole more than £6,000 of goods from a Greenwich BP store. 

He repeatedly targeted the shop over six months, taking meat, alcohol, and other products amounting to £6,500. 

He was arrested on February 4 and despite his initial charge and bail, he continued to steal. 

He was rearrested on March 13 and taken to Bexleyheath Magistrates’ Court where pleaded guilty to 31 counts of theft. 

Bolton was jailed for 35 weeks and is also banned from entering any south east London based BP store for the next five years. 

Read the full story - Prolific thief who stole £6,000 worth of goods from Greenwich BP store 

Omar Edwards

News Shopper: Omar EdwardsOmar Edwards (Image: Sussex Police)Omar Edwards, 26, was jailed after he vaped and assaulted one of the cabin crew staff on a Gatwick flight.

He was the first passenger to board a flight from Jamaica to London Gatwick on November 12, 2022. 

Read the full story - Abusive passenger vaped and assaulted cabin crew on Gatwick flight.

As he walked on he was seen grabbing items from seats in an area of the aircraft he was not travelling in. 

He was challenged about this twice and then was spoken to by a cabin crew member after he was suspected of vaping in the toilet on board. 

When he was challenged on the return flight he demanded a drink and was told that if he sat down a drink would be taken to him. 

But instead he snatched a carton of juice and tried to walk away. 

During the incident he assaulted a cabin crew worker, Sussex Police said. 

He was jailed for five months after he was found guilty of behaving in a threatening, abusive, insulting and disorderly manner to cabin crew, contrary to the Air Navigation Order 2016, and assault.