Helpless girlfriend forced to listen down phone as partner stabbed to death
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A girlfriend was forced to listen down the phone as her partner was stabbed to death in a botched robbery.
Samuel Odupitan, 24, cornered hotel worker Tyler Roye, 24, as he got off a tram on his way home from a late shift.
He stabbed him six times before robbing him of a designer Gucci bag.
Mr Roye, a concierge at the Holiday Inn in Stratford, east London, had just answered a phone call from his girlfriend Jaiya Williams when Odupitan confronted him.
Ms Williams had to listen as Odupitan attacked him in Croydon, south London on February 26.
Mr Roye stumbled to a friend's house but collapsed and died in hospital a few hours later.
Odupitan was convicted of murder and jailed for at least 30 years at Croydon Crown Court on Monday.
He also admitted four counts of robbery from last year and was handed 26-and-a-half years to be served concurrently to the murder.
In a statement Ms Williams, 22, said: "I was forced to hear it. To know I was the last person he spoke to pains me every day.
"To know I was on the other end of the phone while this vicious attack took place is something I will have to deal with for the rest of my life and will probably never get over.
"I could tell he was scared and in trouble, I called him a hundred times that night.
“The last time I heard his voice, he was pleading for his life. That's all I can hear now over and over again.
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"The last time I saw my boyfriend he was in a mortuary.”
She said if Odupitan had “just asked for whatever was wanted”, he would have given it up.
But instead, that chance was “taken away from him and in turn he was taken away from us”.
Odupitan was identified using CCTV and arrested on March 1 at his home, less than a mile away from where the attack took place.
Oliver Glasgow, prosecuting, said he "habitually carried a knife" which he used "opportunistically" to rob victims.
The court heard he has four previous convictions for 10 different offences, two of which are for possession of a knife.
The victim’s mum Cecilia Smith, 45, said: "I was so proud of my son and the man he was becoming.
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"My son has got a clean heart and was truly just a big softy. The impact of losing Tyler has caused severe stress and sadness amongst us all.
“If I were to sit still and actually think about what happened, my heart would stop beating".
She said she has left his childhood bedroom "untouched", thinking "one day I will open the door and he will just be there”.
Tyler's dad Derrick Roye said his life "had been devastated on every level of existence".
He said: "My son was my good friend, my mate, and to know that his life was taken away from us in such an evil way has traumatised my family.
"He was the life and soul of our home. He was ambitious, he was kind, he loved to bring out the best of other people.
"Some days I wish not to wake up. The loss of my son is my very deep pain and I do not know if it will ever go away."
The Recorder of Croydon, Judge Alison Robinson said: "The loss of Tyler Rowe has been devastating causing sleepless nights, distress and unbearable grief.
"It was particularly traumatic to his girlfriend to know she heard his last words on the phone as he was attacked, pleading with the defendant."
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