‘Devil’s Breath’ killer who poisoned dancer with date rape drug jailed

A murderer who poisoned an Irish dancer with a date-rape drug known as "Devil's Breath" to rob him has been jailed for life.

Joel Osei, 26, killed Adrian Murphy, 43, with an overdose of scopolamine after entrapping him using a fake profile on gay dating app Grindr.

The substance, from the deadly nightshade family of poisons, is commonly used in rapes and kidnappings in South America.

Police said it was the first time the drug had been used in a UK murder.

Osei and his ex-girlfriend Diana Cristea, 19, targeted men on Grindr in order to rob them of their valuables and drain their bank accounts.

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They were both convicted of murder.

At Croydon Crown Court on Friday Osei, of Seven Sisters, north London was jailed for life with a minimum term of 32 years.

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

He is thought to have died sometime between meeting Osei, on June 1 2019, and his body being discovered three days later at his flat in Battersea, south west London.

His phone had been thrown down the toilet, while a Coca-Cola can contained traces of scopolamine.

Osei's fingerprints were discovered on a bottle of whisky left at the scene.

Toxicology tests revealed the concentration of the drug in Mr Murphy's body was many times the level consistent with a fatal overdose.

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.

His sister Majella said: "He was beautiful inside and out and only wanted to make people happy.

"To his murderers, you have stolen my brother from me, you have ripped half of me away, I personally will never recover from this.

"I would not wish this pain on anyone, not even you two."

She said she forgave the warped killers, adding: "If I don't, I will be just like you”.

Mr Justice William Davis said Osei started 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."

Cristea and Osei were also convicted of poisoning a second man with the same drug two days earlier, who survived.

Osei was given a concurrent five year jail sentence for administering a poison or noxious substance so as to endanger life.

He received no separate penalty for multiple counts of theft and fraud.

Cristea, of Mill Hill, north London, will be sentenced at a later date.

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