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Murderer who plunged knife into neck of store manager has life sentence shortened by eight months

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Murderer known as ‘Aggro’ who plunged knife into neck of Matalan store manager has life sentence shortened by eight months after judge is told he is now ‘gentle and sensitive’

  • Kobina Essel stabbed Jamie Simpson three times with a 10in knife in 2008
  • Teenage murderer was trying to steal £30,000 from a Matalan in Hackney 
  • But Essel’s life sentence has now been cut short by eight months










A teenage murderer who plunged a knife into the neck of a Matalan store manager has had his life sentence shortened by eight months after a judge was told he is now ‘gentle and sensitive’.

Kobina Essel, known by the gang name Aggro, stabbed Jamie Simpson three times with a 10in knife while he and three others tried to steal £30,000 from a Matalan in Hackney, London in 2008.

The trial judge, Martin Stephens, told Essel at his sentencing hearing: ‘This was a brutal attack on an unarmed man going about his lawful business.’

Kobina Essel

Handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of Jamie Simpson

Kobina Essel (left), known by the gang name Aggro, stabbed Jamie Simpson (right) three times with a 10in knife while he and three others tried to steal £30,000 from a Matalan in Hackney, London in 2008

But Essel’s life sentence has now been cut short by eight months by using a rule allowing teenage offenders to ask for a review of their time inside, The Sun reported.

The High Court agreed to the reduction after hearing evidence from supporters called Essel ‘a gentle and sensitive man with a real maturity to his approach in communicating and interacting with others’.

But Mr Simpson’s father Lambert, 69, from Derby, said: ‘This good behaviour thing is a joke. He can leave prison early but my son isn’t here anymore.

‘His sister’s children have never met their uncle. It’s not right.’ 

Judge Stephens previously told Essel: ‘This case demonstrates in a vivid way the horrors of knife crime and the terrible consequences to the victim, his family and friends and to society as a whole. 

‘You went into this with your eyes open. You went in with a knife and you did not hesitate to use it.’ 

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