Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting TIMES NEWS to 80360, or email us
Golders Green murderer jailed for life at Old Bailey
A 31-year-old, who murdered an associate over mounting debts, has been jailed for life.
Lundrim Gjikokaj, of Reading, was sentence for the Golders Green murder of Cima Sogojeva, 27, at the Old Bailey today.
Gjikokaj, a compulsive gambler, was sentenced to life in jail with a recommended minimum sentence of 28 years.
During a four week trial the court heard that at 11.15am on October 6, 2008 police received a call from a member of the public claiming to have heard gunshots at an address in High Field Road.
Officers and paramedics attended the scene and found Cima Sogojeva, a Kosovan national, collapsed with gunshot and knife wounds.
He was pronounced dead at the scene and a post mortem examination at Finchley Mortuary gave the cause of death as gunshot wounds.
Police initially arrested Gjikokaj, also from Kosovo, on October 16, 2008.
He was bailed a number of times while the investigation continued.
Eventually it was discovered that Gjikokaj had continually dodged Mr Cima because of a debt thought to be about £250,000.
It was established that he met the victim at the victim’s home on the morning of the murder.
Gjikokaj was charged in January 2012 and remanded in custody.
Detective Chief Inspector Tim Duffield, of the Metropolitan Police Service's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said: “Lundrim Gjikokaj presented a carefully crafted alibi to the police after his arrest, cynically claiming that he had been elsewhere at the time, and that he had been a 'close friend' of the victim who claimed to be 'heartbroken' at hearing of Cima's demise.
“A detailed investigation established that Gjikokaj, a compulsive gambler, had in fact meticulously planned the fatal events, and his motivation was purely to avoid paying a significant and rapidly escalating debt.
“Faced with the prospect of having to answer difficult questions during the trial, he refused to give evidence to the jury."
"I hope that today’s verdict and life sentence will serve as a reminder that the Met works tirelessly in the pursuit of violent offenders, to bring them to justice, irrespective of when the crime took place."