Great Britain

Dior Lupqi: Teenager who fatally stabbed Nashon Esbrand named publicly for first time

A knife-wielding teenager chasing Nashon just before he was stabbed five times. Picture: Met Police

A knife-wielding teenager chasing Nashon just before he was stabbed five times. Picture: Met Police


The teenager who fatally stabbed Nashon Esbrand with a "large machete-style knife" can be named publicly for the first time.

A family photo of Nashon Esbrand. Picture: family of Nashon EsbrandA family photo of Nashon Esbrand. Picture: family of Nashon Esbrand

Dior Lupqi was 15 years old when he and a gang of associates chased, trapped and killed 27-year-old Nashon Esbrand in Mitchison Road in August 2017.

Lupqi, who landed the fatal blow, was 16 when he was jailed for a minimum of 12 years for murder at the Old Bailey - but couldn't be named because he wasn't 18.

Nashon's mother, Princess Esbrand, said: "He murdered someone. If you have murdered someone you have to take the consequences. And he was the one who used the machete and stabbed Nashon three times."

Cally gang member Jack Stevens, who was alleged in court to have orchestrated Nashon's killing, had his sentence reduced from 23 years to 21 years at the Court of Appeal on Friday last week.

Nashon Esbrand was stabbed to death in Mitchison Road, Canonbury, in August.Nashon Esbrand was stabbed to death in Mitchison Road, Canonbury, in August.

Lupqi was sentenced alongside Dillon Zambon, then 20, and Jhon Berhane, then 18, who both got life sentences for their role in Nashon's murder.

Stevens, however, fled the country after Nashon's murder but was caught in Spain in July 2018 and extradited back to the UK.

Stevens' representatives last week pushed for a re-trial on the grounds the jury had been led because they knew three of his associates were found guilty of joint enterprise murder.

The Court of Appeal reduced Stevens sentence by two years but rejected his case for a re-trial.

Jack Stevens.Jack Stevens.

Princess added: "It just feels to me, as Nashon's mother, like the system is failing the family because we are going through things like this.

"I'm really pleased that the judge saw Stevens for what he was, because he wanted to obviously get away and the judge said: 'No'. I was pleased with the outcome, yes they did take two years of the sentence but I'm not too bothered about that because I know he really got what he deserved. He deserves to stay in prison until he dies."

But she added: "It's so stressful for me to be going through this every day. It's like it's never stopping. I would like to see the law change in lots of different ways to protect families. It was hard for me sitting there, as a mother, and hearing the judge say [Stevens] was only young and when they're young they don't think. I have brought up five children and I'm an experienced mother - killing people has nothing to do with being young."

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She called for less leniency in the sentencing - and sentence reviews - of young killers.

"As a parent it's heart-wrenching," Princess added. "What about bombers? If you're a young bomber and you kill someone you don't get away with it but if it's knife crime they're more lenient."

Princess wants to set up a charity in Nashon's name to teach youngsters self-defence and give them a safe space to go.

She added: "Every day I'm shocked. It's like you can't do anything. You can't move on with your life. Since my son died it's like I'm in prison."

Nashon Esbrand's brother Mark Barton, left, and mum Princess Esbrand, right. Picture: Polly HancockNashon Esbrand's brother Mark Barton, left, and mum Princess Esbrand, right. Picture: Polly Hancock

Nashon's brother Mark Barton, who works for Hackney Council's Integrated Gangs Unit, said: "It was very stressful to go through the same court matters. We were very anxious there was a possibility of a retrial and the impact of this for the entire family.

"But it was a breath of fresh air for the Court of Appeal to decide this was the right decision. They took two years of his sentence however, in terms of the outcome, I'm happy - I think this will help future families that are victims of knife crime on joint enterprise. It will supports other families so in future joint enterprise sentencing can be disclosed."

Coming together to reduce knife crime

Mark's been working with the perpetrators and those affected by gang violence for 28 years. Before starting in Hackney, he also spent time in Lambeth, LA, Manchester and Birmingham.

"Obviously this has impacted on me however I know that I still need to support other victims and perpetrators because I'm part of the process now," he said. "I will always fight against knife crime and weapons in general to try and reduce the numbers of people dying in the UK.

"My role is to empower others to work together because the only way we're going to solve this is by coming together in the community, by being creative and understanding."

He said building up trust in communities is the most important thing, adding that a holistic and therapeutic approach to tackling violent crime is needed.

Mark added: "A lot of young people in gangs have vulnerabilities and clinical issues going on. [...] Mental health is one of the main issues.

"This is not a Hackney or Islington issue it's a national thing that's going on so we need to work together and share information. It takes a community to raise a child. I'm making the community take responsibility in terms of addressing the issues. We can't have a wall of silence, we have to come together."

Asked if Nashon's murder made it harder to empathise with gang members, Mark added: "It actually makes it easier at times. It's a difficult one for me because my brother was murdered ... I also understand the people who did what they did have underlying clinical issues. On the family side of losing my brother, I'm angry."

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