A DRUG addict who threw a friend to his death from the balcony of his eighth-floor flat after bludgeoning him with a metal statuette during a drug-fuelled row has been convicted of murder.
The jury at Warwick Crown Court took less than three hours to convict Younis Masih of the murder of 31-year-old Edwin Mazorodze at Paradise House on Eden Street in the city in December last year.
But 40-year-old Masih continued to protest his innocence from the dock as he was jailed for life and told he would serve 15 years before he was considered for release.
The court heard he had a variety of previous convictions for offences of dishonesty and violence, and in 2001 was jailed for six years for wounding with intent, having originally been charged with attempted murder, after stabbing another man to the neck, back and chest with a kitchen knife.
Judge Richard Griffith-Jones told Masih: “This case exemplifies one of the most terrible aspects of the taking of drugs.
“Your life had degraded to a level where there were syringes all over your flat, and you had dropped to a very low point of morale.
“Your friendship with the deceased is undoubted, although it was probably the common denominator of drugs which brought you together; and I am quite satisfied it was something to do with drugs which caused you to fall out so badly.
“Your behaviour afterwards was despicable. He was on the floor bleeding to death and you spent more time clearing blood than showing any concern for him. When you slinked off into the night you went within feet of him as he lay dying.
“The only sentence I am able to pass is one of life imprisonment. As an act of mercy to you, something which you did not show to him, I’m going to hold the tariff period to 15 years.”
The trial had heard how the pair had rowed after both taking a cocktail of drugs before Masih attacked him, hitting him with such force the weapon snapped in half.
CCTV then filmed him trying to drag the half-naked Mr Mazorodze into a lift, but he failed and instead simply threw him over a balcony.
A neighbour described seeing him plunge head first past their kitchen window, clipping the ledge as he hurtled to the ground.
Cameras then showed Masih strolling casually past his friend as paramedics battled to save his life. His blood soaked trainers were found in a bin nearby and he was arrested the following day.
A post mortem examination concluded Mr Mazorodze, from Stoney Stanton Road in Coventry, died as a result of falling from height but noted several head injuries likely to have been inflicted earlier with a blunt object.
Inside the flat officers found blood on the door, the hallway, stairs, carpet, bed and TV, plus blood-soaked towels and a broken brass ornament and 2.3kg barbell that were both blood stained.
Masih did not give evidence in court, but when arrested had claimed his friend had fell after trying to climb into his flat through a window after he had thrown him out following the row.
Detective Inspector Harry Harrison said: “Masih claimed the fall was accidental, but he didn’t dial 999, made efforts to wash away blood from his flat entrance, and then walked past his dying friend without even enquiring about his condition.”
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THE sister of Edwin Mazorodze, who arrived in the UK in 2004, described him as somebody who loved music and dancing, and who brought joy to people’s lives.
In a statement to the court she said his death had had an emotional and physical impact on the family, leaving what she described as an emptiness in their hearts and putting them into debt so they could repatriate his body to his native Zimbabwe.
“The family are very grateful justice has been served and would like to thank the police and prosecution team,” they said in a statement after the case.
“Edwin’s parents travelled over from Zimbabwe for the trial and the whole family has attended every day of the court case; it has been distressing to hear what happened to Eddie.
“Eddie was a larger than life character who brought laughter to all family occasions; the emotional and physical impact Eddie’s death has brought us has been catastrophic.
“He will be greatly missed by all his family.”
Paradise House where Edwin Mazorodze was thrown to his death. Picture by Jon Mullis 50.013.004.cov.jm2