AN INTERNATIONAL jewel thief has been convicted of murdering a 28-year-old Spanish man and his friend.
Columbian-born Gonzalo Andreas Gomez-Remolina, aged 36, and his brother Christian – who killed himself in prison before his own murder trial – stabbed Ruben Fuente and Carlos Ayala in Clapham, south London, in 2007.
Mr Ayala had helped the defendant in at least one burglary and named his killer with his dying breath, the Old Bailey heard.
Spaniard Mr Fuente was in the “wrong place at the wrong time” and was stabbed eight times as he tried to escape,” the jury was told.
Prosecutor Brian O’Neill QC said Mr Ayala and the Gomez-Remolinas brothers had “fallen out… over dividing the spoils.”
It escalated when Mr Ayala got some friends to break into the brothers’ flat and the Colombians were beaten, their girlfriends tied up and watches and cash stolen.
The Gomez-Remolinas retaliated by attempting to run over Mr Ayala and Mr Fuente in a car park.
During his trial, the defendant denied being involved in the killings, saying he had bolted when Mr Ayala produced a knife and that his brother had confessed to the killings whilst the brothers fled on a Eurostar service to Paris.
However, the jury did not believe him and convicted him of both murders.
After the trial, Mr Fuente’s family said they had “endured the greatest heartache.”