Sheffield Crown Court heard during a sentencing hearing on August 3 how 27-year-old Jacob Carroll and 26-year-old Jordan Davies were both found guilty by a trial jury of murdering 18-year-old Jovester Takyi-Sarpong.
Prosecuting barrister Mark McCone had told the jury the defendants had chased Joe Sarpong before he was stabbed and murdered on October 31 and his body was found near to the derelict former Doncaster County Court building the following morning.
Judge Jeremy Richardson QC told the defendants: “You both participated in stabbing a man with a view to scaring him from drug-dealing from what you regarded as your patch for peddling illegal drugs on the Balby housing estate, in Doncaster.”
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The judge stressed that although Joe Sarpong had peddled drugs “from time to time” he was far from convinced Joe had been doing so on the evening he was attacked.
Mr McCone had said Joe had been with friend Warren Flanagan when a group started shouting and as Joe and Warren ran they were pursued by the defendants on bicycles.
Joe’s body was later found with a stab wound to each leg on November 1, 2021, near the old Doncaster County Court, after he was spotted by motorists nearly 12 hours after the murder, according to Mr McCone.
Mr McCone said Joe had climbed over gates at Catherine Street and the defendants had gained access via Trafford Way and even though CCTV showed the defendants chasing Joe the murder was not captured on any footage.
However, Mr McCone stressed the defendants pursued Joe and it did not matter which of them stabbed him because they had been acting together in a joint enterprise.
Carroll had admitted being a drug addict who had been selling drugs to feed his crack cocaine habit and he claimed he had been trying to protect his “patch”.
He claimed he had jumped over the fence and seen a knife on the ground and he had warned Joe while prodding towards him with his flick-knife to intimidate him.
Carroll also said Davies, who declined to give evidence, sold drugs but they were not in business together.
Judge Richardson told the defendants: “It’s clear to me from the CCTV you were both determined to get him and attack him with a knife.”
He added the defendants had ensnared Joe Sarpong and Carroll had stabbed him and even though he accepted the defendants had only intended to cause serious harm and not to kill this still amounted to murder.
The court heard Joe died from blood loss and haemorrhaging from the stab wounds but mainly from the right leg.
Mr McCone said Davies, of no fixed abode, has 31 previous convictions for offences including robbery, possessing an offensive weapon, possessing a blade, and possessing drugs with intent to supply.
He added that Carroll, also of no fixed abode, has 22 previous convictions mainly for dishonesty offences. Carroll had pleaded guilty to manslaughter but this was not accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Defence barrister Nicholas Rhodes said there was no intention to kill on behalf of Carroll and if anyone had realised Joe Sarpong was seriously injured help might have been sought.
Counsel Bryan Cox, defending, also said Davies had played a secondary role and he had been close by and the judge agreed it had been Carroll who had stabbed Joe Sarpong.
Judge Richardson sentenced both Carroll and Davies to life imprisonment and told them they must both serve a minimum of 22 years before they can be considered for release.
He added: “Those who kill others in the way you did and against the backdrop of carrying knives associated with drug-dealing must expect to be punished with appropriate severity.”