A man who murdered a father in a row over cigarettes has been told he faces a lengthy prison sentence.
Jahmel Riley, 25, hassled people for cigarettes outside a shop in Dulwich, south east London, in February.
Dennis Anderson, 39, who was on his way home from two birthday parties, said: ‘Why are you asking for cigarettes? Why don’t you get a job like the rest of us? What are you poncing or begging for?’
However, he did not realise that Riley had a knife that was almost a foot long hidden in his trousers.
He stood in the dorway, blocking the door to the Payless Food and Wine shop in the early hours of the morning.
The father-of-one tried to leave and a fight broke out.
Riley swung the knife in an ‘over the shoulder cricket bowling action’ as the two men fell to the ground and the fight spilled out into the street.
Mr Anderson suffered a deep neck wound which severed both his carotid artery and jugular vein as well as other knife injuries to his face, upper back and left hand.
Riley smirked as he was convicted of murder at the Old Bailey yesterday and was led to the cells ahead of sentencing next week.
Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC told jurors: ‘We see and hear a lot about knife crime these days, and if ever a case demonstrated what can happen when people carry knives it is this case.
‘What might otherwise have been a verbal disagreement becomes a murder case because the defendant was carrying that terrible weapon.’
Jurors and people in the public gallery cried as Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson read a victim impact statement from Mr Anderson’s long-term partner Leeanne Manzi in which she said he was her ‘best friend and soul mate’.
She said: ‘Dennis was a gentleman with old school manners. ‘He could be commanding just with his voice and he did have an air of authority about him.
‘In some ways I think that is what Dennis was doing the night of his death, trying to be protective over everyone in the shop.
‘I used to hear about someone being stabbed or killed but I never thought it would happen to us.’
Ms Manzi described how their teenage daughter has been ‘left with one parent taken and one parent broken’.
‘She could not have had a better father, he was a guide, support system and friend,’ she added.
‘We all feel the hurt and pain every day that we have been so cruelly robbed of a beautiful human being.’
Riley insisted he had confiscated the fearsome weapon from a group of youngsters earlier that evening and had not yet got around to getting rid of it.
But Judge Hilliard dismissed the claim and said he was ‘absolutely sure’ he was carrying it ready to be used as a weapon.
Riley, of Lordship Lane, Dulwich, South London, was remanded in custody ahead of sentence on Tuesday.