Taxi driver who took knife gang to murder Kentish Town student caught after international manhunt

Kyriacos Phantis was apprehened in Cyprus after an international manhunt

Kyriacos Phantis was apprehened in Cyprus after an international manhunt - Credit: Archant

A minicab driver who ferried a knife gang around as they hunted and brutally murdered an innocent Kentish Town student has been jailed after an international manhunt.

Kyriacos Phantis, 56, went on the run after being charged in connection with the fatal stabbing of 20-year-old ­Mohammed Abdullahi in York Way, near the junction with Camden Road in Camden Town, last year.

He was tracked down to Cyprus, arrested and ­returned to the UK on Sunday by a specialist Met Police team.

Yesterday, at the Old Bailey, he was handed an additional nine months jail sentence on top of the three year term he was given in his absence.

During his trial, the court heard how Phantis drove the knifemen – Kyle Sober-Froud, 20, of Bloomsbury, Calvin Jerelle Collins, 19, of Bloomsbury and Dean Winston, 20, of Kentish Town – around north London on the hunt for those responsible for a shooting outside Winston’s home in Torriano Avenue earlier that evening.

The trio mistakenly ­believed Mr Abdullahi, of Montpelier Grove, Kentish Town, was behind the gunfire and when Phantis took them to York Way CCTV footage showed them punching, kicking and knifing the former Acland Burghley School pupil.

Phantis then drove them from the scene as the criminology student lay dying on the pavement, the court heard.

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Prosecutor Kate Wilkinson said Phantis, of Carleton Road, Holloway, drove the gang around for 40 minutes.

She said: “The three men attacked and killed Mr Abdullahi in just over one minute, then ran to the waiting car and were driven away by Mr Phantis.”

Phantis had been placed on bail and was due to be tried separately, but he failed to appear at the Old Bailey, sparking the international manhunt.

At an earlier trial Winston and Collins were found guilty of murder. Sober-Froud pleaded guilty to murder in February.