05:22PM, Wednesday 23 January 2019
A fugitive who fled to the Caribbean after killing an 18-year-old from Slough has been jailed for 16 years.
Davarn Francis, of Hithercroft Road, High Wycombe, learnt his fate at Reading Crown Court today after being found guilty of one count of manslaughter by unanimous jury.
He was found not guilty of one count of murder.
The 21-year-old was part of a group who ambushed Wa-ays Dhaye, of Chester Road, as he returned home after spending the day at Notting Hill Carnival on Bank Holiday Monday, 2015.
Wa-ays was found by members of the public after being stabbed in Thurston Road.
Paramedics rushed him to Wexham Park Hospital but he could not be saved after suffering multiple wounds, one of which severed his aorta.
In a previous trial in 2016, Khianni Gordon, then 18, from High Wycombe, was convicted of one count of murder and one count of perverting the course of justice.
Kaneel Huggins, then aged 19, from High Wycombe, was convicted of one count of manslaughter and one count of perverting the course of justice.
Antwon Clarke, then aged 18, from High Wycombe, was convicted of one count of manslaughter.
Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant John Slater, said: “Wa-ays’ family has waited with patience and dignity over the three years to see each of his killers brought to justice.
“Nothing we could ever do could bring Wa-ays back to them, but I would like to thank them for the support they have shown the investigation throughout this time and hope that the verdict and sentence brings them to the end of this part of their painful journey.”
Reporting restrictions were in place but have now been lifted in respect of further court proceedings in June last year in connection with this case.
James Barker, then aged 75, of St Hughs Avenue, High Wycombe, Wesley Barker, then 40, of Pentlands Road, Slough, and Sophia Corbyn, then aged 47, of Ripley Road, Reading, were each charged with one count of perverting the course of justice.
James Barker and Sophia Corbyn were found not guilty.
Wesley Barker pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison.
Detective Sergeant Slater added: “Davarn Francis fled the country just days after this awful crime had been committed before the police could locate him.
“Francis thought that he would be safe from capture and prosecution, however thanks to the tenacity and commitment of the investigation team, the Crown Prosecution Service and the National Crime Agency he was traced to Saint Vincent and returned to the UK where he has been convicted of manslaughter.
“Sadly this is another case where a knife has been used to take a life in the UK.
“The advice is simple, don’t carry a knife. Carrying a knife brings many dangers – you become more likely to hurt someone or be hurt yourself.”
The family of Wa-ays Dhaye have left the following tribute:
"Wa-ays was due to start a university course in September 2015 and was very excited to do so with so much to look forward to.
“This opportunity has been stripped away by four killers as he walked home alone not aware of the heart-breaking events to come.
“When he was stalked, ambushed and killed, Wa-ays collapsed just around the corner of his home.
"Our Memories of Wa-ays are still present and are strong in our lives but with that memory comes great loss.
“Every day, and every important date such as his birthday, the date of his death and funeral has left an imprint on our lives.
"Wa-ays was a cheerful, gentle, faithful, and clever young man. He was a good son to his parents and he was a good Muslim teenager who did not drink or do any drugs.
“Wa-ays was and still is, well loved by his family, friends and the community. This was evident on the day of his funeral where hundreds of people gathered for his funeral prayer.
"After Wa-ays was killed, his brothers, sister and mother have to pass Waterbeach Road, close to where he was killed, almost every day which is very traumatic for anyone to have to do."
“The family continue to live in the area and are reminded daily of the events and location where Wa-ays was stalked and stabbed in an attack from behind. We take solace however in our religion and our belief of a life hereafter.
"As a family we are pleased to finally have the last person responsible convicted. It has been very distressing to endure yet another trial, which is now the third due to Davarn Francis fleeing the country.
“We as a family have suffered a delayed process of grieving due to his selfish actions causing more prolonged suffering, grief and sadness.
"Wa-ays would have been 21-years-old and the memory of his life, and who he was to everyone who knew him, will linger forever.
"We would like to whole heartedly thank the witnesses that came forward. As a family we are grateful for your bravery, honesty and commitment throughout this journey.
“We would like to give a special thank you to Mr Price QC and everyone else at the Crown Prosecution Service who helped deliver the convictions.
“We would also like to thank Thames Valley Police and our family liaison officers for their support throughout the last three and a half years."
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