Sunday 14 July 2024
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Nottingham dad murdered over £20 drug deal

A drugs kingpin has been jailed for the “senseless” murder of a Nottingham dad who felt he’d been cheated in a £20 deal.

• Murder and Sentencing: Faheem Younis, a class A drug dealer, has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Darren Davis over a £20 drug deal in Nottingham. Younis will serve a minimum of 24 years before becoming eligible for parole. His associate, Laney Aikens, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years for assisting an offender by disposing of the murder weapon.

• The Incident: Younis lured Davis to an address in Radford and stabbed him in the heart, leading to Davis’s death. The murder occurred exactly a year ago, and the trial revealed that Younis had argued with Davis about being cheated in a drug deal, resulting in the stabbing.

• Investigation and Evidence: The police investigation included CCTV inquiries, forensic evidence, phone data, physical searches, and witness statements. Key evidence included blood found on Younis’ driveway, two knives with DNA evidence, shorts with Davis’ blood at Aikens’ address, and CCTV footage of Younis leaving the scene on Davis’ bicycle.

• Family Impact Statements: During sentencing, statements from Davis’ family were read, describing him as a kind and loving father, friend, and community member. His mother, fiancé, and daughter expressed their devastation and loss, emphasizing that Davis was more than just an addict.

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• Police Reaction: Detective Inspector Melanie Crutchley of Nottinghamshire Police’s Major Crime Unit welcomed the sentences, calling the murder a “terrible tragedy” and a “sad indictment” of the damage drugs do to communities. She expressed hope that the sentences would bring some comfort to Davis’ family and thanked her team for their commitment to the investigation.

Father-of-five Darren Davis bled to death from a single stab wound to the heart after falling out with his supplier, Faheem Younis.

Nottingham Crown Court heard Younis lured Mr Davis to an address in Radford, where he stabbed him – exactly a year ago today.

Younis, aged 42, of Graham Street, Radford, was found guilty of murder on July 27 following a trial. His associate Laney Aikens, aged 40, of Denman Street Central, Radford, was found guilty of assisting an offender after CCTV captured him disposing of the murder weapon in a nearby drain.

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Today, Younis, a class A drug dealer, was given a life sentence for murder. He will serve a minimum 24 years before he becomes eligible for parole.

Aikens was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison. He will serve half of the sentence in custody before being released on licence.

Two other defendants – Ryan Aziz, aged 35, of Ilkeston Road, Radford, and Levalle Likutu, aged 19, of Forster Street, Radford – were found not guilty of murder.

During the trial, jurors heard Mr Davis was stabbed by Younis after meeting him at a property in Graham Street, Radford, on a “very, very hot day” on 10 August last year.

Following the attack, Mr Davis managed to flee down an alleyway into Ruskin Street. He got to Radford Boulevard where, getting weaker by the second, he collapsed.

Paramedics rushed the 46-year-old to Queen’s Medical Centre but sadly nothing could be done to save his life.

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In the days that followed, a detailed police investigation comprising CCTV inquiries, forensic evidence, phone data, physical searches and witness statements led to Younis and Aikens being arrested.

Aikens had not been part of the murder plot, the court heard – but became involved when he agreed to hide the knife used to kill Mr Davis, who lived in New Lenton.

The trial heard Younis confessed to killing Mr Davis during a conversation with a fellow inmate at HMP Nottingham, where he was remanded after being charged with murder.

The inmate told a prison governor that Younis had admitted arguing with Mr Davis about a £20 drug deal. According to the inmate’s evidence, Mr Davis came back the day after the deal, remonstrating about having been ripped off.

The court heard this resulted in Younis stabbing Mr Davis.

Other key pieces of evidence included:

  • A pool of blood belonging to Mr Davis found on Younis’ driveway, with attempts to wash it away;
  • Two knives with damning DNA evidence recovered from the surrounding area of the murder scene.
  • A pair of shorts with Mr Davis’ blood on them was recovered from Aikens’ address.
  • CCTV footage showing Younis riding Mr Davis’ bicycle away from the scene, passing his victim as he lay dying in the street.

Jurors deliberated for 11 days to reach their verdicts.

During today’s sentencing hearing, an impact statement from Mr Davis’ mother was read to the court, in which she described her son as “very kind and helpful”, adding he carried “bags of shopping for elderly people in the street if he saw them struggling”.

She added: “He was the best thing that had ever happened to me. No pain can describe how I feel now. My heart is crushed. I am a broken mother.”

Mr Davis’ fiancé took to the witness stand and described him as her “best friend” since meeting at college 30 years ago and revealed the “absolute devastation” his murder had caused.

She added: “The emotional and psychological damage we are all feeling because of Darren’s death seems like it will never go away.

“The court has heard about Darren being an addict, but he was so much more than that. He loved his sons more than anything. He had a heart of gold and would help anyone out.

“He was so proud of the family we made together. Now all we have are memories.”

Mr Davis’ daughter also took to the witness stand, where she described her father as a “kind, loving man who had a big heart”.

She added: “Every time I saw him he would make me smile and I loved his company.

“We were like two peas in a pod. He wasn’t just my dad he was my best friend. He was well-known in the community and everyone loved him too.”

Sentencing Younis, Judge Nirmal Shant KC told the killer his “senseless” actions had caused tremendous suffering to Mr Davis’ family, “all over a dispute over £20”.

She added: “When the police came to speak to you, you lied and lied again. You did everything you could to avoid apprehension.”

Addressing Aikens, the judge said: “You were at close quarters with Mr Davis. You knew how badly injured he was and you knew he had been stabbed.

“In those circumstances, you agreed to assist Younis by disposing of the knife. You knew you were assisting him in trying to get away with murder.”

Detective Inspector Melanie Crutchley, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Major Crime Unit, welcomed today’s sentences.

She said: “This was a terrible tragedy in that Darren Davis was a loving family man who lost his life over a senseless drugs dispute.

“It’s a sad indictment to the damage drugs do to communities, and the devastation they bring to families. While I know Darren’s family are heartbroken by their loss, I hope today’s sentences brings some comfort to them.

“Drug dealing and knife crime inflict enormous misery and that is why Nottinghamshire Police has dedicated teams that work relentlessly to ensure offenders such as Younis and Aikens are brought to justice.

“By refusing to accept responsibility for their role in this senseless murder, both defendants inflicted further suffering to Darren’s family.

“The trial has been long and extremely distressing for Darren’s loved ones, who have had to sit and listen to details of his death – including how Younis brazenly stole Mr Davis’ bicycle and used it to cycle past him as he lay dying in the street.

“I hope today’s sentencings can provide the family with some form of closure.

“Since the day of Darren’s murder, we have remained committed to finding out what happened, with our team reviewing hours of CCTV and body worn footage dedicating hundreds of hours to compiling the case we needed ahead of the trial.

“I would like to thank my team for the commitment they have shown to this investigation.”

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