A man who murdered his friend with ‘Rambo knives’ after a fight over a stolen motorbike has been jailed for at least 21 years.
Tyrone Farquharson, aged 20, (b. 23.09.98) from Archer Road, in South Norwood, was sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday, December 7 after being convicted on Thursday, October 25 for killing 20-year-old Kelva Smith.
He was also sentenced to eighteen months, to run concurrently, for possession of a knife.
Kelva was murdered on Monday, March 5, in South Norwood after Farquharson attacked him in the street.
He had arranged to meet Farquharson in Archer Road to talk about a motorbike he had stolen from Croydon several weeks before and wanted to sell.
However, after it went missing Kelva was told by his brother than Farquharson and a fourteen-year-old had been seen riding it.
At the meeting, Kelva and his cousin confronted Farquharson, who was with a then-fifteen-year-old.
Farquarson drew a large ‘Rambo-style’ knife and the fifteen-year-old was brandishing an axe.
In the attack that ensued, Kelva was stabbed five times and collapsed on the street.
Passersby gave first aid but despite paramedics and the air ambulance attending the scene, he died on nearby Albert Road at 5.34 pm from his internal injuries.
One witness said they saw Farquharson walking home after the attack laughing and joking.
The sixteen-year-old was close by, and both their weapons – which have never been found by police – were visible.
The pair handed themselves into Lewisham police station the day after Kelva’s murder, and the stolen motorbike was later found at the back of some flats in Albert Road.
Detective Sergeant Rob Tickle, from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “Today a young man was sentenced to life imprisonment for stabbing his former friend to death.
“It is important that people understand the reasoning for the minimum term imposed by the judge and that Farquharson will have to serve 21 years before he can even be considered for parole.
“Even then, he will have to convince a parole board that he is no longer a danger to the public.
“There is no reduction by half for sentencing in a murder case.
“Knife crime is the scourge of towns and cities and a blight on the futures of our young people, whether it be those who carry and use them or worse, those who suffer appalling and life-changing injuries as a result of being attacked.
“The Smith family have paid the ultimate price with the death of Kelva.
“I feel that we have to do more as a society to stop this and change the mindset of those who carry and use weapons.”