Two burglars have been convicted of killing a man during a bungled bid to snatch nearly £100,000 of drugs from a cannabis factory.
Shaddai Smith, 32, and Jason Sebran, 38, broke into a house in Granville Avenue, Hounslow, west London, on March 22 last year.
The Old Bailey heard that the property was the base of a “sophisticated” operation to cultivate more than 200 cannabis plants with an estimated value of £95,000.
Smith and Sebran climbed up a ladder and through a bathroom window, only to find the house occupied by Albanian Renato Geci, 21, and his brother Vilson Geci, 29.
The older sibling went to see what was going on, and was confronted by the intruders and sprayed in the face with what he believed was acid, the court heard.
Prosecutor Crispin Aylett KC had told jurors that a violent struggle ensued with Smith grabbing a knife from the kitchen and Sebran armed with a screwdriver.
Mr Aylett said: “Renato was stabbed to death with the knife as well as being stabbed with the screwdriver.
“As for Vilson, he was stabbed in the thigh with the knife and he also sustained a significant number of other injuries, albeit that most of them were fairly superficial.”
The defendants fled through a window and went to ground.
After his arrest, Smith admitted going to burgle the premises and claimed he had come under attack.
Sebran told police that someone else had gone into the house while he waited outside in his car.
However, Vilson Geci’s description of one attacker’s tattoos matched letters and numbers on Sebran’s arms celebrating the names and birthdays of his two children.
Sebran told officers: “It’s not like I’m coming into someone’s house and nicking your TV and your video – it’s cannabis. They shouldn’t be doing it in the first place so I ain’t got no morals about taking it.”
But Mr Aylett told jurors: “All the same, those men were not acting in the public interest. Instead they were in it for money.