Kosovan gunman appeals conviction for murder of Golders Green father in 2008

12:38 10 February 2014

Lundrim Gjikokaj is appealing his murder conviction.

Lundrim Gjikokaj is appealing his murder conviction.


A man jailed for life over the execution of a friend has launched a bid for freedom in front of the country’s top judge.

Cima Sogojeva was gunned down in his home in Golders GreenCima Sogojeva was gunned down in his home in Golders Green

Lundrim Gjikokaj, 32, was convicted of shooting and stabbing 27-year-old Cima Sogojeva on the doorstep of his flat in Caroline Court, Highfield Road, Golders Green, in 2008.

But the Court of Appeal has heard that the Kosovan national had an alibi, which suggested he was not the killer.

His barrister, Paul Mendelle QC, said the Old Bailey jury which convicted him in October 2012 was not given sufficient help by the trial judge on how to consider the issue.

The prosecution case at trial was that Gjikokaj, of Elms Avenue, Reading, murdered Mr Sogojeva to avoid paying back a debt totalling £250,000.

Caroline Court, where the murder took place. Picture: Nigel Sutton.Caroline Court, where the murder took place. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

He allegedly arrived at his friend’s flat in a fake gesture of goodwill, before killing him.

A post-mortem examination revealed the father-of-one had been shot six times and stabbed in the head and neck with kitchen knives.

But on appeal, Mr Mendelle told the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, that the murder conviction was “unsafe”.

Gjikokaj had always claimed he was not there when Mr Sogojeva was shot at about 11.12am on October 6, 2008.

CCTV cameras captured images of what may have been his car leaving the area minutes before, while telephone evidence suggested he had been in Hayes, Hillingdon, 30 minutes later.

Mr Mendelle said: “If he was in Hayes making phone calls, it was highly unlikely that he could have been in the flat at 11.12am.

“That would have left him about 21 or 22 minutes for a journey that police timed at 19 minutes with sirens blazing and going through every red light.

“It did not conclusively prove that he wasn’t there, but it was an important part of the alibi and it is something the learned judge should have dealt with.”

He said the jury might have been wrongly led into thinking that the defence had to prove it was Gjikokaj in the car, rather than the prosecution having to show it was not.

Lord Thomas, who heard the appeal with Mr Justice Mitting and Mr Justice Simon last month, reserved his decision until a later date.

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 15:24
Smash and grab raiders were unaware they were being followed by police

Two moped riders who were carrying out a smash and grab burglary at a Hampstead convenience store were unaware police were tracking their every move.

Yesterday, 17:40
Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw. Picture: Joe Giddens

Camden’s primary schools are among the best performing in England – but its secondary schools are still lagging behind neighbouring London boroughs, Ofsted’s annual report reveals today.

Yesterday, 16:47
Yolanda Kenyi with the first gift as part of Highgate's live advent calendar project at Postal Plus in Aylmer Parade. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A privately-run post office kicked off Highgate’s live advent calendar on the first day of December.

Yesterday, 16:00
Archway Resource Centre, on Waterlow Road, provides an irreplaceable setting of community

Eight charities fear for their futures after being evicted from their low-rent premises.

Yesterday, 12:19
Tulip Siddiq is set to vote against bombing Syria

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq said she was likely to vote against the package of measures that Prime Minister David Cameron introduced to the Commons last week.

Mon, 17:56
Squatters at 156 West End Lane in West Hampstead are evicted

Squatters have left empty former council offices in West Hampstead peacefully on Saturday morning after bailiffs arrived.

Mon, 15:11
Evidence for the trial

A woman from Crouch Hill has been disqualified from owning animals for life after keeping dogs in cages stacked on top of each other nearly every day.

Mon, 14:03
Claudia Tabitha, 23, Big Issue vendor. Photo: Polly Hancock

A pregnant Big Issue vendor has been overwhelmed by generous offers of support from local parents.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Win a beautiful monochrome tunic dress with Great British Life!

Great British Life is offering a beautiful monochrome silk tunic dress worth £179 to one lucky reader

Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder