A man who shot dead former boxer James Oyebola was yesterday sentenced to a minimum of 28 years by the Old Bailey.

Kanyanta Mulenga shot dead James - who won a boxing bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games - after he told Mulenga to stub out his cigarette in a nightclub in Fulham, west London. This was three weeks after the smoking ban in such places came into effect.

Killer ... Kanyanta Mulenga

Cigs-row gun man gets life

October 9th 2008
The Sun

GUNMAN Kanyanta Mulenga, who shot dead former boxer James Oyebola in a row over smoking, was jailed for life today at the Old Bailey.

Mulenga, 23, blasted dad-of-three James in a club three weeks after the nationwide cigs ban.

He must serve a minimum term of 28 years.

CCTV filmed him calmly tucking a converted replica pistol into his waistband in Fulham, West London.

James, 46 — a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist — died four days later in July last year.

Mulenga, from Putney, was convicted of murder at the Old Bailey yesterday.

Rene McKoy, 20, and Dean Francis, 24, were cleared after testifying against him.
A fourth man faces a separate murder trial.

James’s family issued a statement saying they “feel sorry” for his killer.

Judge Peter Rook told the killer: “This was nothing short of a brutal killing carried out for the most trivial of reasons.”

Mulenga showed no emotion as he was sentenced.

The judge said: “This is a truly tragic case. James Oyebola was said to be in a happy mood that night, politely telling people that they should not smoke.”

He told the gunman: “You are part of the gun culture that blights our cities.

“In those few seconds when you fired those shots at James Oyebola, you took from him his most precious possession - his life, and all it held for him.

“He was a fine man and he was lost in those few moments. He was a popular and big-hearted man.

“His death has inevitably left his family and many friends with a sense of irreplaceable loss.”