A man has been convicted of killing a man and setting fire to his body on Mitcham Common.

Raphael Kokkinos, 34, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and perverting the course of justice before the start date of the trial on April 13, 2022.

According to police, Jean Loike Guei was killed as a result of a dispute over drugs which had been stolen from Raphael’s home in August 2020.

Aaron Williams, 29, of Warwick Gardens in Thornton Heath and Sophie Kokkinos, 70, of Chelsham Road in Clapham were found guilty of perverting the course of justice at the conclusion of a trial at the Old Bailey on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

Raphael, Aaron, and Sophie will be sentenced at the same court – date to be confirmed.

Jean Loike Guei’s body was discovered after a member of the public spotted a fire in bushes on the side of a road near Mitcham Common in the early hours of Thursday, September 17, 2020.

Your Local Guardian: Jean Loike Guei (image: MET Police)Jean Loike Guei (image: MET Police)

A post-mortem examination found Jean had been assaulted and killed prior to his body being moved and set on fire.

Officers launched an investigation and established that in the days following the burglary, there were frequent phone calls between Raphael and Jean.

On September 14, Raphael called him to say that he had some of the money he owed and agreed to post it through the door of an address given to him by Jean.

The money failed to materialise, and CCTV seized by officers showed that the following day, Jean made his way to Raphael’s flat on Polworth Road where he parked his car and went into the property at around 12.05am.

Officers believe that Jean was killed almost immediately by Raphael.

Aaron Williams, of Warwick Gardens in Thornton Heath, arrived at the flat later that day and took Jean’s car to a mechanic – where it remained until officers tracked it down during their enquiries.

Your Local Guardian: Aaron Williams (image: MET Police)Aaron Williams (image: MET Police)

CCTV also showed a convoy of cars travelling to Mitcham Common in the early hours of September 17.

After a light caught a car with a bulky and irregular shaped object in the boot, officers believed Jean’s body was inside it.

The car used to transport the body was also sold on by Aaron – police say the new owner said it was “exceptionally clean” inside and smelt of chlorine.

Raphael’s flat had also been subject to a thorough clean and to the naked eye there were no signs of any struggle.

However, crime scene experts did discover two small bloodstains in the kitchen area which were later proven to be a match to Jean.

Your Local Guardian: Sophia Kokkinos (image: MET Police)Sophia Kokkinos (image: MET Police)

The following people were found not guilty following the conclusion of the trial at the Old Bailey on June 22:

- Benoni Thomas, 28, of Old North Road, Cambridge, was found not guilty of manslaughter;

- Joseph Kokkinos, 32, of Chelsham Road, Clapham was found not guilty of perverting the course of justice;

- Michael Brain, 28, of Eyston Drive, Weybridge was found not guilty of perverting the course of justice.

Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Jolley, who led the investigation, said: “Kokkinos owed Guei a significant amount of money which he had no way to pay back.

“When Guei arrived at Kokkinos’ address, he was attacked and killed. Kokkinos then persuaded and enrolled the help of his friend, Williams, and his mother to assist in covering up the crime in the hope they wouldn’t be caught.

“Their plans were no match for the work and determination of our team who used all of the resources at our disposal to gather a huge amount of evidence against the defendants.

“This is a tragic case which clearly illustrates the devastation that drug dealing can cause – not only has one man lost his life but others are now set to serve prison sentences as a result of their actions.”