Lettin killer jailed

Times Series: Jailed: Francis Boateng Jailed: Francis Boateng

A man who shot and killed a father-of-three from Cricklewood has been jailed indefinitely.

Francis Boateng, 25, of Cornermead, Grahame Park, received an "indeterminate sentence" for killing 57-year-old Robert Lettin, who was shot in front of his son Kieran, 23, at his Lichfield Road home, in Cricklewood, on January 24 last year.

He will remain in prison until he is no longer considered a danger to the public after being convicted for manslaughter and conspiracy to rob at the Old Bailey. But, with a minimum sentence of only four-and-a-half years, he could be released after this lenth of time.

Jane, Robert Lettin's former partner and the mother of two of his children, expressed concern that he may only serve the minimum, and said the sentence was "like killing him twice".

"How can you jail a man who killed a father-of-three for four-and-a-half years? If that's what his life's worth, it's an insult to every person who's lost a loved one."

Boateng avoided a murder conviction after the prosecution argued that shooting Mr Lettin was an accident.

Boateng and two accomplices had broken in to his home brandishing knives in the belief that Mr Lettin had substantial quantities of drugs that could help satisfy his gang's cannabis cravings, Judge Stephen Kramer QC said.

But Boateng was enraged when he discovered Mr Lettin only had a small amount of cannabis and cash. After ransacking the flat, he found a rifle that Mr Lettin used to take pot-shots at birds and pointed it at his chest.

He squeezed the light trigger, unaware it was loaded. Mr Lettin was hit in the chest and died from severe bleeding. The court accepted Boateng had not intended to shoot him, and Kieran Lettin testified that Boateng had appeared shocked to see the gun go off.

Jane read a statement to the court explaining the affect of the death on her and their two young sons, one of whom turned 11 on the day of the sentencing.

She said: "Nearly a year on and I am still wiping away the tears of my chiildren, calming angry outbursts and trying to comfort away the nightmares.

"Our family was very small to start with and now a huge chunk of it is gone. Every day I get up with a heavy heart and look into the faces of my children and every day I watch them struggle to get through life without him."

Three other men were jailed along with Boateng at the Old Bailey last Friday, following convictions for conspiracy to rob for their roles in the raid.

Idris Hadra, 29, of Anson Court, Crickle-wood, also received an indeterminate sentence and will serve a minimum of three years in jail. It was recommended the Govern-ment consider deporting him to his native Sudan after completing his sentence.

Jerome Williams, 24, of Cambridge Avenue, Kilburn, was jailed for three years and Jay Poxon, 23, Of Waltham Way, Carshalton, was jailed for two-and-a-half years.

On Monday, homeless Daniel Howes, 23, avoided jail with a one-year suspended sentence. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob and co-operated with the prosecution. He is now in the witness protection programme.

Detective Chief Inspec-tor Peter Lansdown, of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said he was "satisfied" with the sentences.

He said: "They are animals. Boateng showed no remorse whatsoever, just complete denial of the facts."

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