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Man who killed Irish dance teacher jailed for life


Dance teacher Adrian Murphy

Dance teacher Adrian Murphy

Dance teacher Adrian Murphy

A man who poisoned a gifted Irish dancer with a date-rape drug known as "devil's breath" in order to rob him after entrapping him using a fake dating app profile has been handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 32 years.

Joel Osei (26) killed 43-year-old Adrian Murphy, from Kilkenny, in summer 2019 with an overdose of scopolamine - a substance from the deadly nightshade family of poisons commonly used in rapes and kidnappings in South America.

Mr Murphy had worked as a dance teacher and a choreographer at the Royal Academy of Dance, but was on a year-long sabbatical at the time of his death.

Osei and his ex-girlfriend and co-defendant Diana Cristea (19) targeted men on gay dating app Grindr in order to rob them of their valuables and drain their bank accounts.

After killing Mr Murphy, the couple attempted to buy 80,000 US dollars (£62,000) worth of diamonds from a jeweller in New York.

Mr Murphy is thought to have died sometime between meeting Osei on June 1 and his body being discovered by his best friend and former partner on June 4.

His phone had been thrown down the toilet, while a can of Coca-Cola was found to contain traces of scopolamine and Osei's fingerprints were discovered on a bottle of whisky left at the scene.

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Toxicology tests revealed the concentration of scopolamine in Mr Murphy's body was many times the level consistent with a fatal overdose. Cristea and Osei, who was previously living at Kerswell Close in Seven Sisters, north London, but is now of no fixed abode, were both convicted of murder following a trial at Croydon Crown Court.

Jailing Osei for life yesterday, Mr Justice William Davis said he had begun the plan of drugging victims to rob them "with enthusiasm". He said: "Your expectation was shame and embarrassment on the part of those victims would mean in all likelihood they would not report it."

Appearing in court via videolink, Mr Murphy's sister Majella said: "He was beautiful inside and out and only wanted to make people happy."

Ms Murphy said she forgave both defendants, adding: "If I don't, I will be just like you."

Cristea, of Langley Park, Mill Hill, Barnet, north London, will be sentenced for murder, two counts of theft and eight counts of fraud at a later date.

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