A DRUG dealer from Harlesden who machinegunned to death an addict who stole from one of his minions has had his murder conviction upheld.
Anthony Small, now 34, of High Street, ran a crack cocaine supply network in Hayes and Uxbridge and one of his dealers was robbed of drugs and a small amount of cash in December 8 2010.
Small plotted to revenge the mugging and lured the thief, Anthony Dickson, to a park in Marvell Avenue, Hayes, on Christmas Eve on the pretence of a drugs deal before shooting the 33-year-old dead by firing two bullets into the chest.
The gunman was found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey in November 2011 and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum tariff of 34 years the following year at the conclusion of connected trials.
Small applied to the Court of Appeal to overturn the conviction but in a reserved judgement announced yesterday judges rejected the prisoner’s appeal.
Lord Justice Davis said: “The Crown’s case was, in truth, a very strong one.”
The prosecution case was based on a “firm foundation” of mobile phone data, with a “very significant amount” of other evidence supporting it, he said.
“The jury had the opportunity to assess Small’s own evidence on all of the issues,” he continued.
“They did not believe him. We see no reason to conclude that the conviction was unsafe.”
The murder was thought to have been carried out using a converted Mac-10 submachine gun.
Small’s barrister Bernard Tetlow criticised the admission at the trial of material said to be “hearsay”.
He said the evidence was “extremely damaging”, as it purported to give Small a motive for the killing.
The trial judge, Judge John Bevan QC, had also been wrong not to have instructed the jury to consider a charge of manslaughter as an alternative to murder, Mr Tetlow said.