A 20-year-old has been convicted of murder after stabbing a man in the chest in retaliation for a comment made at a party.
Ezekiel Braithwaite confronted Pedro Godinho in a city car park on the morning of Sunday 26 March after taking offence to something he believed had been said about a relative.
Following a trial at Leicester Crown Court, Braithwaite was today (Tuesday 17 October) found guilty of murder. He was found not guilty of attempted grievous bodily harm on a second man.
Braithwaite, of no fixed address, is due to be sentenced on Friday 20 October.
The court heard how police were called by the ambulance service at 6.20am to a small car park in Canonsleigh Road where Pedro had been found seriously injured. He was taken to the Leicester Royal Infirmary where he died shortly afterwards.
Through the course of their enquiries, detectives found that Pedro had been at a party hours before which included Braithwaite and some of his family members. He then left the party and took a taxi which stopped in the Canonsleigh Road car park.
When he arrived Braithwaite was there waiting and confronted 22-year-old Pedro about a comment he believed he had made before stabbing him in the chest and fleeing the scene.
A post-mortem examination determined he died as a result of a single stab wound.
Detective Chief Inspector Martin Smalley, from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, led the investigation.
He said: “A murder investigation was launched with detectives working around the clock as they carried out extensive house-to-house enquiries and viewed hours of CCTV footage, piecing together the events leading up to Pedro’s death and tracked down Braithwaite.”
In the early hours of Monday 27 March, detectives were given a breakthrough when their enquiries led them to a hotel room in South Yorkshire where Braithwaite was arrested.
DCI Smalley added: “This was a senseless attack carried out because Braithwaite took offence to a passing comment.
“Pedro was a young man who had his whole life to lead.
“Tackling and preventing knife crime is a priority for Leicestershire Police. We any incident involving a weapon extremely seriously, and we continue to work to educate those who choose to carry a knife, to raise awareness of the serious implications that decision could have.
“Last year we launched the #LivesNotKnives campaign to drive home the message of the devastating consequences knife crime can have and what could happen if you are caught carrying a weapon.”
More information about the campaign can be found here: www.leics.police.uk/knifecrime
A 21-year-old woman, who had been charged with assisting an offender, was found not guilty of the offence following the same trial.
Source:: Leicestershire Police News