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Two men jailed for fatal 15-second attack

News   •   Jun 26, 2020 11:30 BST

[Victim: Gavin Garraway]

Gavin Garraway, 40, was fatally stabbed in front of his brother in Wandsworth Friday, 29 March 2019.

His two killers were jailed for a total of 31.5 years on Thursday, 25 June at the Old Bailey.

Zion Chiata, 20 (27.04.00) of Patmore Estate, SW8 was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 21 years for murder. 

Tishaun Panton, 22 (22.10.1997) of Cottage Grove, SW9, was also sentenced to 10.5 years for Gavin’s manslaughter.

Chiata was convicted on Monday, 8 June, following a retrial at the Old Bailey. At the conclusion of the first trial in October 2019, he was found guilty of possession of an offensive weapon.

Chiata had previously pleaded guilty to Mr Garraway’s manslaughter, but this plea was not accepted by the prosecution.

The second defendant Panton, was also convicted of Gavin’s manslaughter following the first trial. His sentencing had been postponed pending the outcome of Chiata’s retrial.

The court heard how at 14.36hrs on Friday, 29 March 2019 Gavin was driving with his brother through the Clapham Common area and turning onto Clapham Park Road when Chiata and Panton – who were on foot - suddenly began to pursue his car.

Anticipating an attack on himself and his brother - having seen the pair chasing after him - Gavin tried to turn his car around; however in doing so he crashed it into a traffic light bringing the vehicle to a stop.

Panton and Chiata approached the car, with the latter pulling out a large knife preparing to attack.

Once at the car Chiata launched his attack at Gavin through the open window, stabbing three times in quick succession.

At the same time Panton used the crutch he had with him and began to hit Gavin and his car with the item.

During the attack, Gavin’s brother tried his best to defend him with a crutch he too had on his person.

The violence lasted no longer than ten seconds with Chiata then fleeing the scene, while Panton remained at the vehicle for a further five seconds continuing to attack Gavin with the crutch.

A police officer arrived on scene mere minutes after the attack where he, with the support of some off-duty nurses, administered first aid.

Paramedics arrived a short time after this however, despite the efforts of medical professionals, Gavin’s injuries were too severe and he was pronounced dead at 15.28hrs.

A post mortem examination later gave the cause of death as a stab wound to the abdomen.

A murder investigation was launched, led by detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command.

CCTV was taken from the area where the attack took place. The footage clearly captured both Chiata and Panton before, during and after the attack.

Officers also interviewed a number of witnesses who had been present at the attack.

Chiata was arrested at his home on Tuesday, 2 April 2019 on suspicion of murder, having been forensically linked to the crime scene, and for possession of a bladed article.

Panton was arrested at his home on Friday, 12 April on suspicion of murder after being identified through telephone evidence.

They both were charged and remanded in custody prior to the first trial in October 2019.

Detective Inspector Jamie Stevenson, who led the investigation said:

“This 15-second attack not only ended Gavin’s life, but also sentenced his family to a lifetime of sadness and loss. 

“This punishment shows the consequences of carrying a knife. I am relieved the jury discounted Chiata’s defence that he simply “lost control” and rightly convicted him of a terrible murder. I hope this sentence gives a tiny bit of relief to Gavin’s family who have not only lost him because of the reckless behaviour of his killers; but have also had to endure the pain of two trials.

“I urge anyone planning on taking a knife onto the streets of London to look at this case as an example of the very real, possible consequences of that decision. You will get caught, your life and the lives of those you love will be bitterly ruined, and you will lose your freedom. No good can come of it.”

Chiata was given life imprisonment with a minimum term of 21 years (less time served).

No separate sentence was given in relation to the count of possession of a bladed article and two counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs.


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