Music manager stabbed to death in London for his £125,000 Patek Philippe watch - which turned out to be fake

12 February 2024, 19:16

Mr Odunlami was stabbed to death for his watch
Mr Odunlami was stabbed to death for his watch. Picture: City of London Police

By Will Taylor

An "adored" music boss was stabbed to death for his fake designer watch during his swanky birthday party.

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Emmanuel Odunlami wore the imitation Patek Philippe Nautlius watch during an exclusive event to celebrate his birthday in London.

The 32-year-old had turned up wearing a Dior jacket and Goyard bag, and other revellers came with Rolex watches on.

A security guard at the £1,400-a-table event, Kavindu Hettiarachchi, spotted the watch and tipped off a group of robbers who jumped him as he left Haz restaurant, near St Paul's, in May 2022.

Read more: Moment brazen thieves try to steal luxury watches from undercover police - and are mobbed by other officers

Hettiarachchi summoned Louis Vandrose over the phone, and Vandrose, Quincy Ffrench and Jordell Menzies ran at him.

Menzies sprinted at the 32-year-old music manager, stabbing him in the heart with a lock knife as his victim backed away and fell onto a parked car.

Ffrench bent down to grab the watch and said "got it" before the group escaped in a Mercedes.

It has not been recovered.

The respected music manager was stabbed at his birthday party
The respected music manager was stabbed at his birthday party. Picture: City of London Police

Judge Field, sentencing the 27-year-old at the Old Bailey on Monday, said: "It was a carefully planned and sophisticated offence in which you played a major part."

Vandrose and Ffrench, both 28, have been found guilty of manslaughter and robbery.

Menzies, 27, was given life with a minimum of 31 years for murdering Mr Odunlami.

Read more: Rolex Rippers are using more violence with stolen watches safer and more lucrative to sell than drugs

Hettiarachchi was convicted of manslaughter and robbery and got 13 years while Vandrose and Ffrench were given 15 years.

Mr Odunlami was "absolutely adored, loved and respected" by his two young children, his fiance Rajbir Kaur said.

"My happiness was seeing Emmanuel and our children together. I will never in this life experience that again.

"Emmanuel was murdered before he got to see his son in school uniform."

Jordell Menzies, 27, from Brent, was jailed for life for stabbing Mr Odunlami to death
Jordell Menzies, 27, from Brent, was jailed for life for stabbing Mr Odunlami to death. Picture: Alamy

Ms Kaur added: "He lost his life over something he had a passion for. People should be allowed to wear freely what they earn with hard work."

Mr Odunlami's mother Christiana cried as she read her impact statement to court.

"I feel that what happened is still punishing our family. I'm still carrying the pain and have lost my purpose in life," she said.

"My heart aches for him every day. I feel that my body is dead, just my heart is ticking."

Kavindu Hettiarachchi, 31, from Harrow, got 13 years for manslaughter and robbery
Kavindu Hettiarachchi, 31, from Harrow, got 13 years for manslaughter and robbery. Picture: City of London Police

She said he loved watches and fashion, with his father having sold timepieces.

City of London Police's Detective Chief Inspector Edelle Michaels said: "Our thoughts are with Emmanuel's family and friends who have been devastated by the death of a young man out celebrating his birthday.

"Those responsible for this callous and co-ordinated murder have rightly been sentenced to long custodial sentences. I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to bring these men to justice."

Hettiarachchi's co-worker Antonios Kfoury, 23, got 18 months in jail for perverting the course of justice after he said there were only four, not five, members of security on duty on the night Mr Odunlami died.

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